John Speller's Web Pages Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - SE&CR
Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
The South Eastern Railway's line to Reading was a unique and interesting incursion into the territory of the Great Western and London & South Western Railways.

The Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway was incorporated by Act of Parliament on 16 July 1846. The engineer of the line was Francis Giles (1787-1847). The line was opened between Reading and Farnborough, and Redhill and Dorking, on 4 July 1849, with Dorking to Shalford following on 20 August 1849, and the line was completed with the opening of the final section between Shalford and Guildford on 15 October 1849. There was also a branch from Ash to Farnham, which opened on 8 October 1849. The RG&R railway ran over the London & South Western Railway between the South Western main line and exercised running powers over the line from Reading to Guildford.

The South Eastern Railway was worked together with the London, Chatham & Dover Railway as the South Eastern & Chatham Railways Joint Committee after 1899, and was grouped into the Southern Railway in 1923. Following nationalization in 1948 the Beeching Plan recommended closure of the line, but wiser counsels prevailed and it has subsequently been electrified. Today it forms part of the important route between Brighton and Gatwick Airport, the North and South West of England and South Wales. All trains now use the former Great Western station at Reading.
Map of the Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway, modified from Wikipedia Commons
Guildford Viaduct, South Eastern Railway
The South Eastern Railway's original terminus at Reading. The train crossing the viaduct in the background is on the Great Western main line
SER passenger train preparing to leave Reading station in around 1885. SE station on the left, GW station on the right. The platforms for local trains to Redhill are now located in the position of the coach on the embankment on the right. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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