It is situated on the Portsmouth Direct Line, and is an interchange station for three other railway lines:
The station was opened on 5 May 1845, and substantially rebuilt in 1880. 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 completely rebuilt (except for the platforms) in the late 1980s.
The Reading, Guildford and Reigate Railway opened its services on 4 July 1849; services to Farnham via Tongham began on 8 October 1849; the Horsham line 2 October 1865 (closing almost one hundred years later on 12 June 1965); and finally the New Guildford Line on 2 February 1885. On the latter line is the other Guildford station: London Road (Guildford): the line to it describes a curve around the town on an embankment, crossing the River Wey by a high bridge.
The station is served by services operated by First Great Western from Reading to Gatwick Airport and South West Trains from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, Waterloo to Guildford via Cobham or Epsom and Ascot to Guildford via Aldershot. Occasional CrossCountry trains to Brighton and the North and Southern services on the Sutton and Mole Valley route towards West Croydon & London Bridge also calls.
Platforms 6 and 7 are on opposite sides of the same single line. Automatic train doors only open on the platform 6 side.
Platform 6 is signalled for bi-directional working – trains may approach from either direction.