Network Rail is reminding passengers to plan ahead as they carry out the largest upgrade to the railway in the Guildford area for 40 years.
Ten days of improvement work will take place over Easter; however, preparatory work will affect trains over the next three Sundays.
This Sunday marks the start of three Sundays (15, 22 and 29 March 2020) used to prepare for the works.
There will be limited train services from Guildford. A train service will run between Guildford and London Waterloo via Cobham on those days with buses replacing trains on all other routes.
The main work will take place between Friday 10 April and Sunday 19 April and will affect trains operated by SWR, GWR, Cross Country and Southern as follows:
- SWR services between Woking/Guildford and Haslemere and between Guildford and Aldershot will be replaced by buses
- SWR will run a limited service between London Waterloo and Guildford, via Cobham & Stoke D’ Abernon, from Tuesday 14 April.
- GWR services between Reading and Gatwick Airport will terminate at Ash. Replacement bus services will run between North Camp and Gatwick Airport.
- CrossCountry services between Newcastle and Guildford will terminate at Reading.
- Southern services to Guildford will start and terminate at Epsom.
Engineers will install nearly a mile of new track to make sure a more reliable railway will be in operation for years to come.
At the same time, maintenance works will affect many services on South Western Railway (SWR), Great Western Railway (GWR) Southern and Crosscountry across the three weekends.
What did the officials say?
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said:
“Over Easter 2020, we will deliver the biggest rail improvement programme in the Guildford area for 40 years. I am sorry to passengers for the disruption that this will cause; there is never a good time to close the railway, however this work is vital if we are to improve train services in the area for generations to come.
“I would like to remind passengers whose train services are routed through Guildford to plan ahead and check before they travel, over the next three weekends and during the main works as the line will be blocked between Friday 10 April and Sunday 19 April, with very limited services.
“Closing the line for 10 days will allow us to carry out the work quickly and efficiently, compared to a long period of 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 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.”
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