North Downs Line Redhill

Rail upgrades to affect services between Reading and Guildford

Passengers who use trains between Reading and Gatwick Airport are being advised to check before they travel, with improvement works set to close part of the line for five days this February.

From Monday 13 to Friday 17 February (half-term week), replacement buses will run between Reading and Guildford with an hourly train service continuing between Guildford and Gatwick Airport. 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 maintaining and improving the railway and while it has been timed for half-term to interrupt as few customers as possible, we thank those travelling for their patience during this time.

“Buses will replace Great Western Railway trains between Reading and Guildford while Network Rail carry out these improvements, and we encourage passengers to check their journey beforehand.”

The five-day closure will allow Network Rail to carry out track renewals and signalling upgrades in the Wokingham area to help provide a reliable and resilient service.

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

"It’s really great to see phase three and four of this huge re-signalling project taking place. The current signalling system dates back to the early 1970s and during a long-term programme we’ve been modernising it to improve reliability across the Southern region.

"We’re aware that Wessex route can sometimes be one of the worst affected in terms of signalling issues and completing this work will help prevent those incidents and will allow us to increase capacity for trains with fewer delays, improved safety and lower running costs.

"We’d like to thank customers for their patience and bearing with us."

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: