Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Southern - Guildford review 1

Guildford Railway station
5/7/08 Aldershot to Guildford

Weather: sunny
Dept: Aldershot 14.38
Traction: Class 450 4 car EMU

Aldershot is a three-platform station, with platforms 2 and 3 being on an island. This is where the trains from Guildford and Ascot stop for around thirteen minutes before going out again. Platform 1 is used for London bound trains and is where the main station yellow brick building is. My train is more than half full, and looks down from an embankment to the houses below. As we move away we pass Aldershot FC's ground on the left, before moving into a cutting and then a tunnel.  We emerge in another cutting and then pass an army depot on the left, before slowing down as we leave the mainline to London on the left and turn right onto our line. We pass over the A331, and then veer to the right. The track has recently been re-laid here with fresh ballast in evidence. We slow to around 20 mph as we come onto the line from Reading to Guildford on the left. 

We then speed up passing houses on either side and then come to a stop at Ash station. It has two platforms with a perspex shelter on either platform. The original goods shed is on the right, now being used as a workshop. We go over a level crossing and then straight out into fields on both sides of the track. We now move into a cutting as trees become more plentiful. Houses appear on the right and then we come into Wanborough station, which has the original station building on the right, now a private dwelling, as well as a wooden station building, painted cream on the left. It also has the original footbridge, painted in blue.

Again we move straight out into the countryside, with fields of broad beans on our right. Then bushes and trees on both sides of the track spoil the view. Houses start appearing on the left and we start descending and veering to the right. We pass office blocks on the left and the university and cathedral on the right. We then join the mainline from London on our left and come into Guildford station on platform 8. There is a five-minute turnaround, before the train goes out again. Guildford station is quite modern with mainly steel and glass buildings and has 8 platforms in total.

Summary: A useful cross country line connecting two big Surrey towns, which should continue for many years to come.  MC