North Downs at Chilworth

Rail upgrades to affect services between Guildford and Gatwick Airport

Passengers between Reading and Gatwick are advised to check before they travel this weekend as improvement work will close the vital line from Guildford for seven days.

From Saturday 11 to Friday 17 November, Network Rail will carry out track renewal and bridge works in the Shalford and Chilworth area.

Replacement buses will run between Guildford and Gatwick Airport with an hourly train service continuing between Reading and Guildford. Buses will be timed to connect with trains.

GWR Regional Station Manager for the line Steven Hawker thanked passengers in advance for their patience and advised them to plan ahead before travelling.

He said:

“These works are essential to maintain and improve the services we offer and we thank those travelling for their patience while we continue to invest in the railway.

“Buses will replace Great Western Railway trains between Guildford and Gatwick Airport while these improvements are carried out by Network Rail, and we encourage passengers to check before travelling so they are not caught out.”

The investment will extend the life expectancy of the railway infrastructure, reduce the need for reactionary speed restrictions, and allow GWR to continue provide consistent and reliable services.

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: 

“Running a safe and reliable railway is my ultimate priority, and this work is critical to keeping the North Downs Line fully functional.

“Taking this decision to close the railway was not taken lightly, but our engineers will use this time effectively and carry out additional renewals to other parts of the track which will benefit customers for years to come.

“I’d like to thank customers and residents for their patience whilst we carry out this work.”

Customers looking for further travel information can visit 

Contact Information

James Davis

Media Relations Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

Notes to editors

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: