Passengers urged to check before they travel over Christmas and New Year: Christmas workers 2 16x9

Monday 9 Dec 2019

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

Region & Route:
North West & Central

Passengers will benefit from a better, more reliable railway in 2020 thanks to upgrade and maintenance work taking place this Christmas and New Year.  

The work in the North West and Central region - which runs from Euston and Marylebone in London, to Scotland via the West Midlands and North West - has been carefully planned to impact the fewest number of passengers.

Most of the Railway Upgrade Plan improvements will happen from the end of service on Christmas Eve until the railway fully reopens on 27 December.

Tim Shoveller, managing director of Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “While people enjoy time with their friends and families over Christmas, thousands of Network Rail staff will be working round-the-clock to maintain and improve the railway to provide passengers with better, more reliable journeys in the New Year.

“I know there is never a good time to disrupt journeys while we carry out large pieces of work but whenever possible we do this at times when there are significantly fewer people travelling by train, such as Christmas and other bank holidays. I appreciate people have important plans so I urge them to please plan ahead and check before they travel for the latest journey information.”

Major projects on the North West, Central and West Coast Mainline South routes between 24 December and 27 December include:

  • Work in and around Euston station in preparation for HS2
  • Work on overhead wire stanchions at Bletchley ahead of a new flyover being built across the West Coast main line to carry East West Rail between Oxford and Bedford
  • Track being replaced in Tring and Crewe stations
  • Railway drainage improvements between Preston and Lancaster
  • Ballast, the stone foundation of the railway, being replaced in Wolverhampton
  • Ongoing preparation work for the full resignalling of Birmingham New Street in 2022.

While there are no trains on Christmas Day, some services do run on Boxing Day. Chiltern Railways will be running services between Marylebone and Oxford Parkway via Bicester Village.

Chiltern services will be impacted by work to replace track near Haddenham and Tame Parkway on 29 and 30 December. A bus replacement service will be in use and information can be found out at

In the North West, track will also be replaced and a foot crossing renewed near Warrington between 1 and 2 January.

Passengers whose journeys could be affected are being urged to plan ahead and check before they travel at or with their train operator.

Nationally, more than 20,000 railway staff will deliver around 380 separate projects over the festive period.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100

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.

Usually, there are almost five 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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: