Monday 19 Dec 2016
Passengers urged to plan ahead as biggest ever Christmas upgrade work starts this weekend
- Network Rail will be investing £103m in improving and upgrading the rail network over Christmas
- Passengers advised to plan ahead as upgrade work means there will be no train services from Paddington main line station between December 24 and 29.
Passengers travelling into and out of west London are being urged to plan ahead as vital upgrade work means there will be no train services into or out of London Paddington main line station from December 24 to 29.
Network Rail’s orange army will be out in force over the Christmas period to carry out upgrade work which is necessary as part of the Crossrail project that will allow for quicker and more direct travel across the capital as well as increase capacity. Work will take place between Old Oak Common, Stockley, Hayes, Acton and Maidenhead.
The project is one of up to 200 being delivered across the network as £103million is being invested into the railway, making it the biggest ever festive upgrade.
The upgrade means there will be no train services in or out of Paddington main line station from December 24 to 29, with a reduced timetable between December 30 and January 2. Passengers arriving from the west will see services start and end at Ealing Broadway during the closure although retail units at the station will remain open and London Underground and other Transport for London services will still run.
As there is no step-free access at Ealing, GWR tickets will also be valid via the following London stations:
- Euston: To and from the Hereford area (change at Birmingham New Street)
- Marylebone: To and from the Oxford area (change at Oxford)
- Waterloo: To and from Bristol, South Wales, the South West and Basingstoke (change at Reading)
Matthew Steele, Crossrail programme director at Network Rail said: “Successful completion of these Christmas works is not only vital to delivering the Crossrail project, but is an integral part of our Railway Upgrade Plan as we continue to enhance the capacity and reliability of our railway, and enable the introduction of new trains in 2017 that have more seats and offers quieter, more reliable journeys.
“Despite our essential upgrades the vast majority of the rail network, over 95%, remains unaffected and will be open for business as usual.”
GWR managing director, Mark Hopwood, said: “These improvement works will ultimately increase capacity and connectivity in London and the Thames Valley, and on the wider Great Western network. New trains are already in operation on some GWR routes and more are on their way during the course of 2017 and 2018 – delivering more seats and more frequent services.
“We have worked closely with our colleagues at Network Rail to keep disruption to a minimum; however, we urge customer to travel early and to note that we will not be able to run trains between London Paddington and Ealing Broadway for four days from and including Christmas Eve. We strongly advise customers with luggage, children or who require assisted travel, to use either London Marylebone, Euston or Waterloo.”
A breakdown of how journeys may be affected can be found by visiting nationalrail.co.uk/Christmas and following #ChristmasWorks on Twitter.
- ENDS -
More information about services out of London Paddington Station:
Major upgrades to the rail network services in 2017 means there will be no services between London Paddington and Ealing Broadway, from Christmas Eve to Thursday 29 December. Trains will start and end at Ealing Broadway where you can change on to the London Underground. As there is no step-free access, GWR tickets will also be valid via the following London stations:
- Euston: to and from the Hereford area (change at Birmingham New Street)
- Marylebone: to and from the Oxford area (change at Oxford)
- Waterloo: to and from Bristol, South Wales, the South West and Basingstoke (change at Reading)
A reduced timetable will also operate between 30th December and 2nd January.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.