Guildford is an interesting station to visit. On the main London to Portsmouth
line, it is an interchange station for two other railway lines. One is
the North Downs Line running to Reading to the north and Redhill to the
east. There is a connecting line from the Reading line to Aldershot and
Alton. The other line is the New Guildford Line, an alternative route to
Waterloo, via Cobham or Epsom.
Until 1967 there was a modest motive power
depot (MPD) with a steam allocation that in its last year or two mainly worked engineering
trains in conjunction with the electrification work on the main Waterloo
to Bournemouth line.
The 1967 pictures were taken on a visit on 21
April whilst the 2017 pictures were a week later - 28 April.
locomotive shed was nestled beneath the cliffs of the North Downs.
Due to the limited space, it was a semi- roundhouse with engines having
access from a turntable. The picture below shows BR Standard class
5 no. 73093 moving forward into the shed.
Following the end of steam in
July 1967, the shed was demolished and the Farnham Road multi-storey
car park occupies the land.
Whilst the shed was tucked away,
the rest of the yard was visible from the station and the station
footbridge. Above we see 73093 again and a
present day shot of the same location.
In the background on Stag Hill is
Guildford Cathedral, now partly hidden from the growth of trees in
the intervening years.
The cathedral was completed in
the early 1960's and the campuses of Surrey University was
developed around it.
a couple of shots of BR Standard class 4 no. 75076 whilst shunting
in the yard.
The footbridge survives and continues
to provide a back entrance/exit to the station, handy for those
using the university.
old Southern Railway N, U and Q1 classes were withdrawn early in
1966, a number of standard class engines found their way to
Guildford shed to work the engineering trains.
One new arrival was BR Standard
class 3 no. 77014. It arrived on the Southern in March 1966 having
been transferred from Northwich shed in Cheshire. This class of engine was unknown to the
Southern, being based in the North West. 77014 was the only one of
the class to be allocated to the Southern and went on to be the
last of its class.
It also had the dubious honour of
working the final steam hauled train on the Southern on Sunday 9
July 1967. Whilst the attention was on Merchant Navy no. 35030
which hauled the final passenger train from Weymouth to Waterloo
that afternoon, 77014 quietly worked the 8.50pm parcel train from
Bournemouth to Weymouth that evening - this being the very last
steam hauled train.
A set of
pictures taken from the footbridge.
75076 is featured again and is
shunting Battle of Britain locomotive no. 34077 which had been
withdrawn from service.
from the footbridge in the opposite direction.
What is now the station car park
used to be part of the motive power depot with the coaling stage,
a line of condemned engines and 75076 on shunting duties.
Finally, a couple of pictures from 1968
Whilst steam had finished on the Southern in 1967, there was an
unexpected passage of two engines through Guildford on 7 April
They were BR 9F 2-10-0 no 92203
and BR Class 4 no. 75029. Having recently been bought by the
artist David Shepherd, they were on their way from Crewe to the
Longmoor Military Railway where he was instrumental in
establishing a base for a number of preserved engines. There is a marvelous
account of the move of these engines in David Shepherd's book
"A Brush With Steam" (Chapter 4).
The building work for the
university can be seen in the background. Today, this view is
completely hidden by trees.
BR Standard class 5 no. 73096, then
based on the Mid Hants Railway, runs round its train whilst on its way
to Salisbury on the 15 February that year. Apart from some newer houses
and the modern electric units, little seems to have changed over the
intervening 31 years.
20 May 2017
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