The Bournemouth Belle was a named train run by the Southern Railway (Great Britain) from 1931 until nationalisation in 1948 (with a break for the war until 1947) and subsequently by British Railways until it was withdrawn on 9 July 1967.
The train, composed of Pullman stock, first ran on Sunday 5 July 1931. It initially ran direct from London Waterloo, leaving at 10:30, to Bournemouth Central, returning at 19:18. The service was later amended to call at Southampton, and extended from Bournemouth Central to Bournemouth West. Journey time was between two hours one minute and two hours twenty minutes, depending on direction, configuration and motive power.
At first the train ran on summer Sundays. It was sufficiently successful to be run on all weekends and summer weekdays until in 1936 it was a daily working.
Before the war the train was usually hauled by SR Lord Nelson Class locomotives. On its reintroduction on 7 October 1947 the superior SR Merchant Navy class provided motive power. The final trains in 1967 were hauled by British Rail Class 47 diesels.
The Southern ran three Pullman trains with the suffix Belle. The others were the Brighton Belle (originally the Southern Belle) and the Devon Belle. British Railways introduced the Thanet Belle (later renamed the Kentish Belle) in 1948.
- Kidner, R W (1958). The Southern Railway. South Godstone, Surrey: The Oakwood Press.