Guildford railway station

Guildford railway station is at one of three main railway junctions on the Portsmouth Direct Line and serves the town of Guildford in Surrey, England. It is 30 miles 27 chains (48.8 km) down the line from London Waterloo.

Guildford
National Rail
Guildford station from bridge.JPG
Guildford Station, looking north
(from Farnham Road road bridge)
LocationGuildford, Borough of Guildford
England
Grid referenceSU991496
Managed byNetwork Rail
Platforms8 (7 In Use)
Other information
Station codeGLD
ClassificationDfT category B
History
Opened5 May 1845
Passengers
2015/16Increase 8.201 million
2016/17Decrease 8.192 million
2017/18Decrease 7.955 million
 Interchange Increase 1.017 million
2018/19Decrease 7.494 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.992 million
2019/20Decrease 6.937 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.951 million
Notes
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

It provides an interchange station for two other railway lines: the North Downs Line northwards towards Reading, which has a connection to Aldershot; the same line eastwards to Redhill; and the New Guildford Line, the alternative route to London Waterloo, via Cobham or Epsom.

Guildford station is the larger, more frequently and more diversely served of the two stations in Guildford town centre, the other being London Road (Guildford) on the New Guildford Line.

HistoryEdit

 
A 1912 Railway Clearing House map of lines around Guildford railway station

The station was opened by the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) on 5 May 1845, but was substantially enlarged and rebuilt in 1880.

The Reading, Guildford and Reigate Railway opened its services on 4 July 1849, and was operated by the South Eastern Railway. LSWR services to Farnham via Tongham began on 8 October 1849 and the New Guildford Line to Leatherhead and Epsom Downs on 2 February 1885. On the latter line is the other Guildford station, London Road. The line to it describes a curve around the town on an embankment, crossing the River Wey by a high bridge.

Guildford station was also the northern terminus of the, now-closed, Cranleigh Line which was opened 2 October 1865 by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway and closed almost one hundred years later on 12 June 1965.[1] This line ran to Horsham by way of Cranleigh, Rudgwick and Christ's Hospital.

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 8 November 1952, an electric multiple unit suffered a brake malfunction approaching the station. It overran signals and collided with a stationary steam locomotive. Two people were killed and 37 were injured.[2]
  • On 28 July 1971, a parcels train was derailed at the station.[3]

Platform layoutEdit

 
Guildford railway station in 1989.
 
Looking towards the west from platform 2.
 
Platforms 6 and 7 serve the same single line.
 
Guildford Locomotive Depot 1965
 
An ex-Network SouthEast EMU operated by South West Trains at Guilford station in 2000.

The main station buildings are on the Down side. At the end of the Down side platform is a bay for the New Guildford Line. There are now three islands with seven platform faces plus the bay linked by both a long footbridge and a subway. Platforms 6 and 7 are opposite sides of the same line: these were used for unloading mail and parcels until the mid-1990s. The station was completely rebuilt (except for the platforms) by British Rail in the late 1980s.

  • Platform 1 – Bay platform for stopping services to London Waterloo via Epsom or Cobham and peak time trains to London Bridge via Sutton and West Croydon on the Sutton & Mole Valley Lines
  • Platform 2 – Stopping services to London Waterloo via Cobham
  • Platform 3 – Stopping services to London Waterloo via Woking [Small number of weekday services. Otherwise Sundays only]
  • Platform 4 – Fast and stopping services towards Portsmouth; semi-fast services to Gatwick Airport
  • Platform 5 – Fast services to London Waterloo
  • Platform 6 – Stopping services to Redhill and services to Ascot via Aldershot depart from either this platform or platform 8
  • Platform 7 – Platform not in use
  • Platform 8 – Services to Reading. Services to Ascot via Aldershot depart from either this platform or platform 6

Platforms 6 and 7 are on opposite sides of the same single line. Automatic train doors only open on the platform 6 side. Today doors are not opened on platform 7 due to the live rail being on that side, hence rendering that platform disused. Platform 6 is signalled for bi-directional working – trains may approach from either direction.

Motive Power DepotEdit

Guildford station was the site of an important motive power depot opened by the LSWR in 1845. The original building was demolished in 1887 to make room for the enlargement of the station, and was replaced by a semi-roundhouse which was substantially enlarged in 1897. This was closed and demolished in 1967.[4] The Farnham Road multi-storey car park was built on the site in the 1990s.[when?]

AirtrackEdit

Guildford station was to have been the southern terminus for the proposed Heathrow Airtrack rail service. The project, promoted by BAA, envisaged the construction of a spur from the Waterloo to Reading Line to Heathrow Airport, creating direct rail links from the airport to Guildford, Waterloo, Woking and Reading. Airtrack was planned to open in 2015, subject to government approval.[5] In April 2011, BAA announced that it was abandoning the project,[6] citing the unavailability of government subsidy and other priorities for Heathrow,[7] such as linking to Crossrail and HS2.

ServicesEdit

 
Class 206 3R unit, on a North Downs Line service, showing the pre-rebuild station. (June 1979)
 
Southern Region steam in 1965 in Guildford.
 
4Cig in 1980 in Guildford.

Guildford is served regularly by trains operated by South Western Railway and Great Western Railway as well less frequently by Southern and CrossCountry.

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:[8]

Additional services including Southern services to London Bridge via Sutton serve the station during the peak periods. CrossCountry also usually operate 1 train per day to Newcastle via Birmingham New Street although this is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.[9]

Services at Guildford are operated using a mixture of rolling stock including Class 377, 442, 444, 450, 455 and 456 EMUs, Class 220 and 221 DEMUs and Class 165 and 166 DMUs.

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Worplesdon   South Western Railway
Portsmouth Direct Line
Stopping services
  Farncombe
Woking   South Western Railway
Portsmouth Direct Line
Fast services
  Godalming
London Road (Guildford)   South Western Railway
New Guildford Line
  Terminus
Wanborough   South Western Railway
Ascot to Guildford Line
 
Great Western Railway
North Downs Line
Semi-Fast Services
Great Western Railway
North Downs Line
Stopping Services
Limited Service
SouthernTerminus
CrossCountry
Temporarily Suspended
Disused railways
Terminus   British Rail
Southern Region

Cranleigh Line
  Bramley & Wonersh
Line and station closed

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Cranleigh Railway Line: The Guildford and Horsham Direct Railway. ~ 1865 to 1965". Cranleigh Railway. 23 April 2007.
  2. ^ Moody, G.T. (1979) [1957]. Southern Electric 1909–1979 (Fifth ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan Ltd. p. 122. ISBN 0-7110-0924-4.
  3. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1991). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 7. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 44. ISBN 0-906899-50-8.
  4. ^ Griffiths, Roger; Smith, Paul (1999). The directory of British engine sheds and principal locomotive servicing points: 1. Southern england, the midlands, East Anglia and Wales. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. p. 77. ISBN 0-86093-542-6.
  5. ^ "Heathrow Airtrack". BAA. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Heathrow Airtrack Waterloo rail link shelved by BAA". BBC News London. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  7. ^ Samuel, A. (11 April 2011). "Heathrow: 'No option but to withdraw proposed Airtrack link to Staines'". Rail News from Rail.co. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  8. ^ Table 149, 152, 155, 156 National Rail timetable, May 2020
  9. ^ "Covid-19 Timetable Changes". CrossCountry. Retrieved 16 January 2021.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°14′13″N 0°34′48″W / 51.237°N 0.580°W / 51.237; -0.580