Rail network open for business this Christmas and New Year: Christmas work

Tuesday 5 Nov 2019

Rail network open for business this Christmas and New Year

Region & Route:
  • Vast majority of railway remains open for ‘business as usual’ over the festive period
  • Only a few lines see major change where passengers are urged to check before they travel

The vast majority of the rail network will be open for business as usual this Christmas and New Year as more improvement work is targeted at times that has less impact on passengers.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Our passengers want and deserve a more reliable railway and that’s why this Christmas we are out working on track and behind the scenes to help make that happen.

“Significantly fewer people travel over the Christmas holidays, which is why we do so much work at this time of year. But we know some of our passengers will have important plans, so please check before you travel. We have plenty of people in our stations in the run up to and over the break who are on hand to help.”

While most lines are open as normal, a small handful will be significantly impacted. Passengers on those routes are advised to check before they travel over the Christmas and New Year period, especially if using services into and out of London Paddington.

20,560 railway staff will deliver some 386 projects over the festive period. The major projects 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.
  • 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.

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: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk