Passengers reminded to check before they travel over Christmas and New Year: Christmas work

Monday 16 Dec 2019

Passengers reminded to check before they travel over Christmas and New Year

Region & Route:
  • £111m to be invested to improve the network over the Christmas and New Year period
  • Vast majority of railway remains open for ‘business as usual’
  • A small number of lines see major change where passengers should check before they travel

Rail passengers preparing to make their Christmas getaways are being reminded to check their journeys before travelling.

While the vast majority of the network will be unaffected by upgrade work, some lines will see major change as Network Rail begins its Christmas investment programme to deliver more reliable infrastructure and improved facilities and services for passengers.

Network Rail is working together with train operators to minimise disruption by carrying out work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, when traditionally the railway is closed.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Our passengers expect and deserve a more reliable railway. That’s why this Christmas we are working on the railway across the country to improve services for our passengers.

“While significantly fewer people travel over Christmas, we know that some of our passengers will have important plans to visit friends and family, so please do check before you travel.”

20,560 railway staff will deliver 386 projects over the Christmas and New Year period. The major works include:

  • Multiple major upgrade works at London King’s Cross, including tunnel and structure work, drainage inspection and upgrading overhead line equipment, resulting in improved capacity, reliability and operational flexibility. The majority of these works will take place over Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Friday 27 December, train operators will have limited access into King’s Cross at the start of service until 13:00, and they will be running a reduced timetable.
  • Track renewals, switches and crossings and overhead line works between London Paddington and Slough. This will mean no trains from London Paddington between 24-27 December, and a reduced timetable between 28-31 December. Strike action on SWR will also mean that services in and out of Paddington will be busier than normal, with passengers likely to use GWR as an alternative.
  • Switches and crossings renewal works at Ashford International to improve track quality and reduce delays caused by track faults. This means Southeastern Highspeed and Eurostar services will not stop at Ashford between 26-29 December. Mainline services will run but some will be subject to change.
  • Re-railing and track maintenance work between London Liverpool Street and Hackney Downs to improve service reliability. On 26 December Stansted Airport services will start and terminate at Tottenham Hale. Greater Anglia and Arriva Rail London services will run between 27-29 December but will divert around the works on the fast lines.

A breakdown of how journeys will be affected can be found by visiting National Rail Enquiries, and following #XmasRailWorks on Twitter.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Jack Harvey

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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