Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Southern - Guildford review 2

Guildford Railway station
5/7/08 Guildford to Ascot

Traction used: Class 450 4 car EMU
TOC: South West Trains
Weather: sunny
Dept: Guildford 15.00

We leave from platform 8 of Guildford station, a modern station, made up of glass and steel buildings with eight platforms in total. Soon after the station we leave the mainline to London on our right and pull away to the left quite sharply, going up hill on a fairly steep gradient. We go past the university and cathedral on the left and then pass under the A3, with more houses on the right. We then go into a cutting and then pass several trees and bushes on both sides, reaching about 60 mph.

Soon open fields can be seen and then we slow for Wanborough station, which has its original wooden clad station building on the right, painted cream. There is also a brick building on the other platform, which is now a private dwelling. It also has the original footbridge, painted in blue. It seems to be out in the middle of the country with very few houses nearby. Trees block the view once more and then the track curves slightly to thee right as we start to go uphill and into another cutting.

Then fields can bee seen on both sides as we come to a stop at Ash, which has just two bus stops on each platform. There are houses on either side as we move away. We go for just a short while, before we slow and leave the line to Reading on our right, passing a train on the other line. More houses on either side indicate that we are getting near to Aldershot. We join up with the line from Woking on the right and go over the A331. We pass gravel pits on the left, now used for fishing and then we pass a military depot on the right. We then enter a tunnel and emerge in a cutting before passing Aldershot FC on the right and then coming into Aldershot station. It has three platforms, two of them on an island where the trains to and from Guildford and Ascot reverse. Trains continue onto Alton from here.

Summery: A short but busy branch line, which is busy with passengers connecting to faster trains at Guildford or Aldershot. MC