South Eastern Railway (England)
The South Eastern Railway was a railway company in south-eastern England from 1836 until 1922. The company was formed to construct a route from London to Dover. Branch lines were opened to Tunbridge Wells, Hastings and other places in Kent; the SER absorbed or leased other railways, some older than itself, including the London and Greenwich Railway and the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway. Most of the company's routes were in Kent, eastern Sussex and the London suburbs, with a long cross-country route from Redhill in Surrey to Reading, Berkshire. Much of the company's early history saw attempts at feuding with its neighbours. However, in 1899 the SER agreed with the LCDR to share operation of the two railways, work them as a single system and pool receipts: but it was not a full amalgamation; the SER and LCDR remained separate companies until becoming constituents of the Southern Railway on 1 January 1923. There had been proposals for a railway between London and Dover in 1825, 1832 and 1835, but they came to nothing due to opposition from landowners or the difficulties of bridging the River Medway near its mouth.
On 21 June 1836, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed a Private Act incorporating the South Eastern and Dover Railway, which shortly afterwards changed to the South Eastern Railway. At the time of inauguration there were two potential rail pathways south from London, the Speaker of the House of Commons had said no further pathways would be permitted; the SER therefore considered routes to Dover from the proposed London and Southampton Railway line at Wimbledon, or from the existing London and Greenwich Railway at Greenwich. The former left London in the wrong direction and on a roundabout route; the latter provided a useful way for a northern route via Gravesend and Canterbury, except that lengthening the line beyond Greenwich was blocked by opposition from the Admiralty, this route would involve tunnelling through the North Downs. The engineer of the new line, William Cubitt, was engineer of the London and Croydon Railway, which planned to use L&GR lines as far as Corbett’s Lane in Bermondsey before turning south towards Croydon.
A new connection on this line near to Norwood could provide access to a southerly route to Dover via Tonbridge and Folkestone. This was less direct than the northerly route but passed through easier country, it involved one significant 1,387-yard tunnel through the Shakespeare Cliff near Dover. This was the route first chosen by the SER at its inauguration. During Parliamentary discussions on the proposed route of the London and Brighton Railway during 1837, pressure was put on the SER to divert its proposed route so it could share the L&BR mainline between Jolly Sailor and Earlswood Common, travel eastwards to Tonbridge. Under the scheme proposed by Parliament, the railway from Croydon to Redhill would be built by the L&BR but the SER would have the right to refund half the construction costs and own that part of the line between Merstham and Redhill; the SER gave way to this proposal as it reduced the construction costs, although it resulted in a route 20 miles longer than by road, running south for 14.5 miles and turning east.
It meant that its trains from London Bridge passed over the lines of three other companies: the L&GR to Corbett's Lane Junction, the L&CR as far as'Jolly Sailor', the L&BR to Merstham. Construction began in 1838 at several places and the Shakespeare Tunnel was complete by May 1841; the L&BR line to Redhill opened on 12 July 1841 and the SER line from Redhill to Tonbridge on 26 May 1842, when SER train services began. The main line reached Ashford on 1 December 1842. On the same day the SER offered to lease the L&BR for 21 years at £100,000 per year, but the offer was turned down; that year, the SER refunded to the L&BR £430,000 and took ownership of the southern half of the Croydon-Redhill line. Trains ran toll-free to both companies on this stretch but still had pay on the L&CR from Norwood Junction railway station to Corbett's Lane Junction, the L&GR into London Bridge. In 1843, when the railway reached the edge of Folkestone, the company bought the silted and nearly derelict harbour, built by Thomas Telford in 1809, for £18,000.
The SER dredged the harbour and, after a trial with the paddle steamer Water Witch, which demonstrated that a day excursion from London to Boulogne was feasible, arranged for a packet company to provide a ferry to Boulogne. The following year it established the independent South Eastern & Continental Steam Packet Company, which it absorbed in 1853. James Broadbridge Monger was the Master of the "Water Witch" from 1839 to 1844. From 1844 on, he was Master of three vessels which steamed from Dover and Folkstone to Boulogne and Ostend with passengers and cargo: "Lord Warden", "Princess Helena" and "Princess Maude". In December 1848 it opened a steeply graded branch from the Folkestone station to the harbour; the SER opened Dover station on 7 February 1844. This was a terminus, but in 1860 the line was continued to Admiralty Pier. Thereafter the SER concentrated most of its resources into developing Folkestone Harbour, which became its principal base for cross-channel ferries; the company had complete control of Folkestone whereas at Dover it had to negotiate with both the Admiralty and the local town council, the rail route from Boulogne to Paris was better developed than that from Calai
North Downs Line
The North Downs Line is a passenger-train line connecting Reading, on the Great Western Main Line, to Redhill and Gatwick Airport, along the Brighton Main Line, linking many centres of population in that part of the North Downs which it traverses en route. Between Redhill and Ash the line runs parallel with the North Downs. Between Reigate and Gomshall the line runs along the foot of the North Downs escarpment in the Vale of Holmesdale. At Guildford it passes through the gap in the Downs formed by the River Wey, with a short tunnel just south of Guildford station, further west between Guildford and Ash the line runs to the north of the Hog's Back, it follows the Blackwater valley as far as Sandhurst, before continuing to Reading. The line was authorised by Acts of Parliament in 1846 and 1847 and most of it was constructed by the Reading and Reigate Railway Company, opening in 1849; the stated objective of the company was to "secure through traffic passing between the West and Midlands and the Channel Ports avoiding the congestion of London and thus saving time and expense."
Although the company had some independent shareholders, it was associated with the South Eastern Railway. The original intention was for the SER to build part of the line itself, but this proposal was rejected by Parliament; the independence of the company was only a formality to satisfy Parliament. The two companies had some common directors; as intended at outset, the line was leased to the SER in 1850, the two companies merged in 1852. The company's relationship with the GWR is described as "enigmatic"; the GWR offered the company the use of its facilities at Reading station but terms could not be agreed and a separate station was built. The SER operated the line from its opening, ran passenger services on it from Reading to London Charing Cross via Redhill. Today, the distances along the line between Redhill and Shalford Junction, between Ash Junction and Reading are measured from the Charing Cross terminus of the former SER; the line is designated W6 loading gauge. Overnight engineering possessions of up to 4 1⁄2 hours are available.
Reading to Wokingham is electrified and signalled under the track circuit block system from Wokingham Signal Box. Signalling headways are 3 minutes for fast services and 3 1⁄2 minutes for stopping services; the line speed is 70 mph, except for two 30 mph restrictions. Wokingham to North Camp is under the control of Wokingham Signal Box, although long distances between signals increase headways to 6 minutes and 11 minutes for fast and stopping services respectively; this section is not electrified and the line speed is 70 mph. It is planned to transfer the control of Wokingham Signal Box to the new Rail Operating Centre in Basingstoke in 2017/18. North Camp to Shalford Junction is controlled from Guildford. Signalling headways are 2 minutes 3 minutes for stopping services; this section is electrified from Aldershot South Junction. The line speed is 70 mph, except for a 40 mph restriction at Ash Junction where the line curves and a 30 mph restriction on the approaches to Guildford station. Resignalling in October 1999 enabled reversible working on the down line through both tunnels between Guildford and Shalford Junction.
Shalford Junction to Reigate The route leaves the Portsmouth Direct Line at Shalford Junction and there is a 20 mph restriction. From here to Reigate, the line is not electrified, it is controlled by Guildford from Shalford Junction to Gomshall and by Reigate Signal Box from Gomshall to Redhill. Signalling headways are 5 minutes 7 minutes for stopping services; the line speed varies from 30 mph to 70 mph. Redhill to Reigate is electrified; the approach to Redhill is controlled by Three Bridges Signalling Centre and has a 30 mph speed restriction. The major capacity constraints are the platform capacities of Reading and Gatwick Airport stations. At Reading, North Downs Line services terminate at platforms 4, 5 and 6 on the south side of the station, although access to other platforms is possible via Reading Spur Junction with the Great Western Main Line. Trains may access the north side of Reading station via a single track underpass; the access to platforms 4 and 5 was via a short single track section, which limited capacity.
As part of the 2012 Reading resignalling scheme, an additional platform has been provided for North Downs Line services. Capacity restraints at Redhill will be improved by the creation of a new platform and improvements to track work south of the station, as part of the Solum Regeneration project. A new platform at Gatwick Airport was opened in February 2014; the new platform at Redhill is planned to open in 2019 from which time additional services are planned to travel through to Gatwick Airport. Network SouthEast planned to electrify the whole route, with a completion date of 1993 being published, but these plans were dropped; the main services on the line are provided by Great Western Railway using Class 165 and Class 166 Network Turbo diesel multiple units. Hourly semi-fast services run from R
British Rail corporate liveries
The history of British Rail's corporate liveries is quite complex. Although from the mid-1960s to the 1980s the organisation was associated with "Rail Blue", a number of other schemes were used when it was split into operating units or "sectors" in the mid-1980s. At the formation of British Railways on 1 January 1948, early diesel and electric locos and the gas turbine locomotives 18000 and 18100 were painted black with aluminium trim, but by the late 1950s this had been superseded by the same shade of green, used on express passenger steam locomotives, although some locomotives were painted in a two-tone Brunswick and Sherwood green livery, Southern Region electric locomotives were painted a light shade of malachite green. Multiple units were generally green, although this tended to be a lighter and bluer shade compared to the colour used on steam and diesel locomotives. Corridor coaching stock was trialled in carmine and white before Crimson Lake and Cream livery was adopted across the network.
In 1956 an all-over darker maroon, which more resembled the pre-nationalisation LMS livery, was re-introduced, except for the Southern Region, where locomotive-hauled stock was painted'coaching stock' green and a small number of express carriages on the Western Region which were in traditional GWR-style chocolate and cream. With the reorganisation of British Railways in the mid-1960s, a complete break with the past was signalled by the introduction of a blue and grey livery which dominated all passenger rolling stock until the mid-1980s, when a new Intercity livery was introduced along with a number of regional colour schemes; the standard livery for most British Railways steam locomotives was black with a thin red and grey "lining", while express passenger locomotives were painted Brunswick Green, with orange and black lining. This had been the livery of the old Great Western Railway, the Western Region, which now covered the same area, managed to paint far more of their locomotives in these traditional colours than elsewhere.
All Class 42 "Warship" class diesels were delivered in green but some Class 52s were delivered in maroon to match the then-standard coaching stock livery. This livery suited these diesel hydraulic classes, allowed the Western Region to once again show a degree of independence; the 25 kV electric locomotives were painted from new in a striking shade of bright blue, known as "Electric Blue". They retained this livery for some years, before being painted in Rail Blue when that became the norm. In 1964, as part of a plan to develop a new corporate image for British Railways, a number of experiments were tried. No. D5578 was painted in an unlined'Light Electric blue', No. D5579 was painted in a colour variously described as'Bronze Gold' and'Golden Ochre'; the first Class 52 "Western" class, No. D1000 Western Enterprise was painted in a pale brown livery known as'Desert Sand' livery when first delivered in 1961. Another Class 52, No. D1015 Western Champion was delivered in another, darker yellow/brown colour described as'Golden Ochre', though somewhat different from that applied to D5579.
These non-standard liveried "Western" diesel hydraulics were fitted with the cast aluminium lion and wheel emblem, standard issue on the 25 kV electric locomotives. Discussions on the livery for British Railways coaching stock in 1948 settled on a network-wide two-tone livery of crimson lake and cream for corridor coaches, with all-over crimson lake being used for local, non-corridor stock; the colours were chosen to be different from those of any of the "Big Four" pre-nationalisation railway companies while retaining a traditional aspect. However many people were not happy with the loss of the traditional "historic" regional colour schemes as used by the former private companies. From 1956 there was a move toward the return of regional colour schemes. Most regions adopted a maroon livery which resembled that of the former London Midland and Scottish Railway but the Western Region returned some of its coaches that were used on named express trains to a chocolate/cream scheme similar to that used by the GWR before nationalisation and from July 1956 the Southern Region began using a'coaching stock' green, somewhat darker than the malachite green colour of the old Southern Railway.
For cost reasons, liveries were changed piecemeal, when coaches came in for scheduled maintenance. Coaches from different regions could often find themselves coupled together. Due to the consequent muddle of liveries, many trains began to get an untidy if not tatty appearance which added to the run-down image of the railway; the rebranding of British Railways to British Rail on 1 January 1965 was coupled with the introduction of an new national livery. A mock-up for the British Railways Mark 2 stock was displayed at the Design Centre, 28 Haymarket, London, in 1964; this included many of the features which were incorporated in the Mark 2, trialled in an experimental train designated XP64. This mock-up was shown in an orange and grey livery, however, never appeared on rolling stock in service; the XP64 train was used to test technology and carriage arrangements for the planned BR Mark 2 coaches. The coaches for the XP64 train were painted in a lighter version of what would become Rail Blue, with a 44-inch-wide Pa
Farnborough is a town in north east Hampshire, part of the borough of Rushmoor and the Farnborough/Aldershot Built-up Area. Farnborough was founded in Saxon times and is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086; the name is formed from Ferneberga which means "fern hill". The town is best known for its association with aviation – Farnborough Airshow, Farnborough Aerodrome, Royal Aircraft Establishment, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. Farnborough forms with Blackwater and Aldershot a projection of northeast Hampshire into Surrey; the River Blackwater marks the county boundary. It is centred 34 miles WSW of 16 miles east of Basingstoke, it is directly to the south of junction 4 of the M3 motorway and its Cove/West Heath parts, included its official GSS built-up area is north-west of the town centre. The town lies at the centre of the Blackwater Valley conurbation, which includes Aldershot, Yateley, Sandhurst and Farnham, its North Camp part is contiguous with the garrison town of Aldershot to the south.
Its northern parts abut Frimley to the Hawley part of Blackwater to the north. The council of the local government district of Rushmoor is based in the town, having borough status and including Aldershot. Farnborough's suburban areas include Southwood, Cove, West Heath, Farnborough Park, Farnborough Street, North Camp, South Farnborough, Fox Lane, Hawley Lane, St. John's, St. Christopher's. Within Farnborough the only occurring significant flowing water is Cove Brook; the Met Office have a weather station at Farnborough Airport, operating since 1914. Name changes: Ferneberga. Tower Hill, Cove: There is substantial evidence that many years ago a large accumulation of Sarsen stones existed upon what came to be known as Tower Hill; the town is the home of St. Michael's Abbey; the Imperial Crypt there is the resting place of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, his wife, Eugénie de Montijo, their son, Napoléon, Prince Imperial. The Abbey was the home of the Catholic National Library from 2007 until it was relocated to Durham University Library in 2015.
The River Blackwater on the Hampshire/Surrey border was the location of the first international prize fight between Tom Sayers and John C. Heenan, which took place near the location of the Ship Inn pub. Associated with Farnborough Airfield, situated between Farnborough and Fleet, is Samuel Franklin Cody. Cody, or Colonel Sam Cody as he was known, was one of the early pioneers of aviation, he died when he crashed his plane on Ball Hill, a site, now within Qinetiq's Technology Park. A statue was unveiled on the 100th anniversary of his death, 7 August 2013; the statue is sited outside the FAST museum, home of the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, surrounded by commemorative paving paid for by supporters. Farnborough Airfield is the site of the historic Royal Aircraft Establishment. Part of the old RAE, Farnborough's historic wind tunnels are now listed buildings, two in particular preserved; the first built in 1917 and the other, much larger, in 1935. The latter was used extensively for research into Concorde aerodynamics, Formula 1 cars until its closure in the early 1990s.
The tunnels were open to the public during June and July 2014 until the end of the Farnborough International Airshow. Sir Frank Whittle conducted much of his research into jet aircraft at the RAE. A replica Gloster E.28/39 is sited on a roundabout along Ively Road in tribute to its inventor. An inn, The Tumble Down Dick Pub has been present on the A325 Farnborough Road since the 17th century, it was reputedly connected to Richard Cromwell, was the central focus of the town before its 19th-century refocus toward North Camp and the town centre proper's 20th-century development. The pub closed in 2008 and was designated an "Asset of Community Value" in 2013 after local protest over a request for planning permission by McDonald's; the ACV status was rescinded after an appeal by the site's owners. Permission was granted for the site's conversion to a McDonald's restaurant on 9 October 2013, the building reopened with a new roof in October 2014 after being allowed to lie derelict for six years. During the renovation, an early advertisement for the Reading Simmonds Brewery was discovered and is now on full display on the side of the building.
Farnborough is near junctions 4a of the M3 motorway. The A325 enters the town from Frimley to the north, continues into Aldershot to the south; the A331 runs north to south along the east side of the town. Farnborough is served by three railway stations, the busiest of, Farnborough railway station on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo to Basingstoke and beyond. Farnborough North railway station and North Camp railway station are both on the North Downs Line between Reading and Gatwick. North Camp station is a short distance over the county border, in the Surrey village of Ash Vale. Since 2003 Farnborough Airport has been a business airport operated by TAG Aviation; the Farnborough International Airshow takes place at the airport on numbered years. Farnborough is part of the Borough of Rushmoor, along with Aldershot, it contains each with three elected borough councillors. Until 2011, there were nine wards, but following the Electoral boundary reviews and Mayfield wards were merged to create Cherrywood ward.
The full list of wards and their councillors is as follows: Southwood: Cllr. Sue Carter, Cllr. Steve Masterson, Cllr. Ma
Gatwick Airport railway station
Gatwick Airport railway station is on the Brighton main line in West Sussex, England. It serves 26 miles 47 chains down the line from London Bridge via Redhill, its platforms about 70 metres to the east of the South Terminal. In terms of passenger entries and exits between April 2010 and March 2011, Gatwick Airport was the tenth-busiest station outside London, the busiest airport station anywhere in the UK. There have been two stations at Gatwick sited 0.85 miles from each other. The first railway station, opened during September 1891. In 1946, it was renamed Gatwick Racecourse, to reflect its association with the neighbouring Gatwick Racecourse, but fell out of use for a decade after the opening of Tinsley Green, renamed Gatwick Airport in September 1935; the stations had a reversal of fortunes in the 1950s as a result of a government decision to expand and develop the Beehive airport terminal into London's second airport. Gatwick Racecourse is integrated into its terminal. On 27 May 1958, the rebuilt station, which took over the name Gatwick Airport, was opened in conjunction with a regular train service and services to Tinsley Green were discontinued.
Train services are provided by Gatwick Express, Southern and Great Western. When viewed from the air, the station's British Rail logo etched on the roof is visible. Between late 2010 and early 2014, new facilities were built at the station, among them platform 7, infrastructure renewals and the concourse was refurbished; the station was one of 18 managed by Network Rail, but, in 2012, management was transferred to Southern. In May 2018, station was named as the second-least popular major station in the UK. In September 1891, Gatwick station was constructed on the present site to serve Gatwick Racecourse and operated only on race days; the facilities included passing loops and sidings, which enabled race trains to be held without impeding regular traffic on the Brighton Main Line. During the First World War, the sidings were extended to accommodate munitions trains heading for Newhaven. In 1946, Gatwick station was renamed Gatwick Racecourse, used until to 1958; the station had fallen out of use after the opening of nearby Tinsley Green/Gatwick Airport Station.
In the early 1950s, the airport was expanded over land occupied by the racecourse and it was decided to rebuild it. The station was integrated into the airport terminal via an upper level concourse designed by British Rail Southern Region. On 27 May 1958, Gatwick Airport, opened with a regular train service. On 30 September 1935 Tinsley Green was opened 0.85 miles south of the present station. With a year it was renamed Gatwick Airport, following the completion of the Beehive airport terminal, which had a direct connection to the station. In 1940, the airport was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force for military use. In 1952, the government decided to expand the airport as London's second airport; the station continued in operation until 27 May 1958when. The old station was demolished; the only visible remains of the old station are sections of the former up slow line platform and sections of the subway between the station and the original terminal building The 1958 facilities included a parcels office beneath the main concourse, lifts and a corridor on the south side of the overbridge, separated from the passenger corridor by a glazed partition.
To accommodate trains of up to 12-carriage lengths, the three old Racecourse island platforms were raised by 1 ft and extended to the north by about 100 ft, except for the long westernmost platform, reduced from the south. The ticket office on the main concourse of the station was able to handle 670 separate issues of Edmondson tickets from its Bellmatic equipment; the signalbox was retained on the centre platform. In the 1980s, the station was refurbished; the station had six platforms beneath the airport's South Terminal. The ticket office is manned for tickets and inquires, supplemented by ticket machines capable of handling online bookings available on a round-the-clock basis. Automated teller machines and email access points are installed on the main concourse. To assist with moving luggage, coin-operated trolleys are available. On-site food and drink outlets are present. Toilets are available but baby changing facilities and additional toilets can be found in the adjacent South Terminal. There is no car parking facility.
Transport for London's Oyster cards and contactless cards are accepted for travel at the tation. On 13 October 2010, a £53 million redevelopment programme was announced to provide another platform capable of accommodating 12-car trains, refurbishment of the concourse, track and signal upgrades. Escalators and elevators were provided for platforms 5 and 6, replacing a staircase to achieve improved circulation; the programme resulted in improved flexibility on the Brighton Main Line. The project was jointly financed by Network Rail, who contributed £44.9 million, Gatwick Airport who provided £7.9 million. Construction was structured to not negatively affect the 2012 Summer Paralympics, hosted in London. By 3 February 2014, completion was marked by a ceremony officiated by Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer, who formally opened the new platform. Constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick, platform 7 is served by a 975-metre loop from the down fast line and used by services which called at platform 5.
VolkerFitzpatrick were responsible for track and signalling modificat
Great Western Railway (train operating company)
First Greater Western Limited, trading as Great Western Railway, is a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup that operates the Greater Western railway franchise. It manages 197 stations and its trains call at over 270. GWR operates long-distance inter-city services along the Great Western Main Line to and from South West England and South Wales, as well as the Night Riviera sleeper service between London and Penzance, it provides commuter/outer-suburban services from its London terminus at Paddington to West London, the Thames Valley region including parts of Berkshire, parts of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. GWR was due to begin operating the Heathrow Express service under a management contract on behalf of Heathrow Airport Holdings from August 2018; the company began operating in February 1996 as Great Western Trains, as part of the privatisation of British Rail. In December 1998 it became First Great Western after FirstGroup bought out its partners' shares in Great Western Holdings.
In April 2006, First Great Western, First Great Western Link and Wessex Trains were combined into the new Greater Western franchise and brought under the First Great Western brand. The company adopted its current name and a new livery in September 2015 to coincide with the start of an extended franchise, due to run until April 2020; as part of the privatisation of British Rail, the Great Western InterCity franchise was awarded by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising to Great Western Holdings in December 1995 and began operations on 4 February 1996. Great Western Holdings was owned by some former British Rail FirstBus and 3i. In March 1998, FirstGroup bought out its partners' stakes to give it 100% ownership. In December 1998, the franchise was rebranded as First Great Western. On 1 April 2004, First Great Western Link commenced operating the Thames Trains franchise, it operated local train services from Paddington to Slough, Henley-on-Thames, Didcot, Newbury, Worcester, Hereford and Stratford upon Avon.
It operated services from Reading to Gatwick Airport, from Reading to Basingstoke. On 1 April 2006, the Great Western, Great Western Link and Wessex Trains franchises were combined into a new Greater Western franchise. FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach were shortlisted to bid for this new franchise. On 13 December 2005, it was announced. First planned to subdivide its services into three categories based on routes. Following feedback from staff and stakeholders, the decision was taken to re-brand and re-livery all services as'First Great Western'. In May 2011, FirstGroup announced that it had decided not to take up the option to extend its franchise beyond the end of March 2013. FirstGroup stated that, in the light of the £1bn plan to electrify the Great Western route from London via Bristol to Cardiff, it wanted to try to negotiate a longer-term deal. CEO Tim O'Toole said: "We believe we are best placed to manage these projects and capture the benefits through a longer-term franchise."By not taking up the option to extend its original franchise contract for a further three years, FirstGroup avoided having to pay £826.6m to the government.
In March 2012 Arriva, FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach were shortlisted to bid for the new franchise. The winner was expected to be announced in December 2012, with the new franchisee taking over in April 2013; the ITT ran from the end of July until October 2012. The winner would have been announced in March 2013, taken on the franchise from 21 July 2013 until the end of July 2028; the new franchise would include the introduction of new Intercity Express Trains, capacity enhancements and smart ticketing. The award of the franchise was again delayed in October 2012, while the Department for Transport reviewed the way rail franchises are awarded. In January 2013, the government announced that the current competition for the franchise had been terminated, that FirstGroup's contract had been extended until October 2013. A two-year franchise extension until September 2015 was agreed in October 2013, subsequently extended until March 2019. A further extension to April 2019 was granted in March 2015.
The refurbishment of first class carriages in 2014 included interiors that featured a new GWR logo and no First branding. The whole company was rebranded as Great Western Railway on 20 September 2015 and introduced a green livery in recognition of the former Great Western Railway; the new livery was introduced when HST interiors were refurbished, on sleeper carriages and Class 57/6 locomotives. Great Western Railway is the primary train operator in Devon, Somerset, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. Great Western Railway operates commuter services between London and destinations such as Slough, Reading, Oxford, Bedwyn, Hereford and Banbury. There are services between Reading and Basingstoke. Trains run on various north-south routes from Cardiff and Worcester to Taunton, Salisbury, Southampton and Brighton. Many of these run via Bristol; the company runs trains on local routes including branch lines in Devon and Cornwall, such as the Looe, Newq
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 down the line from London Waterloo, it provides an interchange station for two other railway lines: the North Downs Line northwards towards Reading, which has a connection to Aldershot. Guildford station is the larger and more diversely served of the two stations in Guildford town centre, the other being London Road on the New Guildford Line; the station was opened by the London and South Western Railway on 5 May 1845, but was enlarged and rebuilt in 1880. The Reading and Reigate Railway opened its services on 4 July 1849, 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 the northern terminus of the Cranleigh Line of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, which opened 2 October 1865 and closed one hundred years on 12 June 1965. This line ran to Horsham by way of Cranleigh and Christ's Hospital. On 8 November 1952, an electric multiple unit suffered a brake malfunction approaching the station, it collided with a stationary steam locomotive. Two people were killed and 37 were injured. On 28 July 1971, a parcels train was derailed at the station; 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 rebuilt by British Rail in the late 1980s. Platform 1 – Stopping services to London Waterloo via Epsom 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 Platform 4 – Fast and stopping services towards Portsmouth.
Services to Ascot via Aldershot depart from either this platform or platform 6Platforms 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. 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, was replaced by a semi-roundhouse, enlarged in 1897. This was closed and demolished in 1967; the Farnham Road multi-storey car park was built on the site in the 1990s. 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 and Reading.
Airtrack was planned to open in 2015, subject to government approval. In April 2011, BAA announced that it was abandoning the project, citing the unavailability of government subsidy and other priorities for Heathrow, such as linking to Crossrail and HS2; the station is served by services operated by Great Western Railway from Reading to Gatwick Airport and South Western Railway from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, Waterloo to Guildford via Cobham or Epsom and Ascot to Guildford via Aldershot. Occasional CrossCountry trains to Newcastle and Southern services on the Sutton and Mole Valley route towards West Croydon and London Bridge call. 8tph to London Waterloo, of which: 4tph run via Woking 2tph run via Cobham 2tph run via Leatherhead and Epsom 2tph fast services to Portsmouth Harbour 1tph stopping service to Portsmouth and Southsea 1tph stopping service to Haslemere 2tph to Ascot via Aldershot 2tph to Reading 2tph to Redhill, of which 1tph continues to Gatwick Airport 3 trains per day to London Bridge via Sutton and West Croydon.
1 train per day to Newcastle via Reading and Birmingham New Street Photos of Guildford stationTrain times and station information for Guildford railway station from National Rail