Friday 7 Feb 2020
Passengers advised to plan ahead this Easter with Guildford area set for 10 days of improvement work
- Region & Route:
- All lines in the Guildford area will be affected by improvement work between Friday 10 and Sunday 19 April 2020
- A limited South Western Railway (SWR) service will operate between London Waterloo and Guildford via Cobham & Stoke D’ Abernon from Tuesday 14 to Sunday 19 April
- Great Western Railway (GWR) services between Reading, Guildford and Gatwick Airport will be affected
- CrossCountry services between Newcastle and Guildford will be affected
- Southern passengers for Guildford will need to change at Epsom for onward SWR services
Network Rail will carry out a large programme of improvement work in the Guildford area over Easter to provide a more reliable railway and better performing train services.
The junction at Guildford was last upgraded in the early 1980s and following almost 40 years of heavy traffic, plus a rising demand for services, engineers will install nearly a mile of new track to ensure a more reliable railway for years to come.
To provide power to trains more than a mile of new conductor rail will be installed whilst 41 track circuits, which tell signallers where trains are on the network, will be upgraded. The project has taken more than two years to plan and will take 12,000 man hours to complete.
Between Friday 10 and Sunday 19 April, services by SWR, GWR, CrossCountry and Southern are affected as follows:
- SWR services between Woking/Guildford and Haslemere will be replaced by buses
- SWR services between Guildford and Aldershot will be replaced by buses
- GWR services between Reading and Gatwick Airport will only run between Reading and Ash, with buses replacing services between North Camp and Guildford/Gatwick Airport
- CrossCountry services between Newcastle and Guildford will terminate at Reading
- Southern services for Guildford will start and finish at Epsom, with passengers required to transfer to SWR services to travel on to Guildford
- SWR will run a limited service between London Waterloo and Guildford, via Cobham & Stoke D’ Abernon, from Tuesday 14 April.
Passengers should plan ahead and check before they travel with National Rail Enquiries or their train operator, as services are subject to changes and may take longer.
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said:
“We would like to encourage passengers who travel through Guildford to plan ahead and check before they travel, as there will be a very limited number of services between Friday 10 and Sunday 19 April.
“We apologise for the disruption that our improvements will cause however this work is vital if we are to improve both the railway and train services in the area. Closing the line for 10 days will allow us to carry out much more work compared to a series of more limited weekend closures, which could take months.”
Alan Penlington, South Western Railway Customer Experience Director, said:
“These crucial works will increase the reliability of train services that travel through Guildford and help reduce disruption in the future. I realise there is never a convenient time to close the railway, but Network Rail has chosen to carry out these works over the Easter holidays when passenger demand is typically lower.”
“I really appreciate the patience of our customers whilst the improvement works are carried out and I urge anyone who is traveling via Guildford over the Easter period to check before they travel.”
Notes to Editors
- As part of our multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, we’re working for you to allow trains to run more frequently, faster, and to improve the reliability of the rail network to reduce delays in the future.
- Network Rail is investing over £2bn over the next five years to upgrade signalling, tracks, structures, embankments, stations and depots to give passengers in South West London, Surrey, Hampshire, Somerset better journeys with fewer delays.
- Our timetables are planned 12 months in advance, and we schedule in the time needed for planned works to improve the rail network.
- When we need to carry out planned engineering works, such as replacing tracks or upgrading signalling systems, we might need to close a section of track for 24 hours or longer to complete the upgrade work efficiently and safely.
- Trains run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so there’s no time when the network isn’t being used, meaning works can cause some disruption for passengers and businesses.
- We plan works for certain times, so they cause the least disruption to passengers such as on bank holidays, Sundays and overnight, when the network is less busy.
Passengers / community members
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Latest travel advice
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.