Will my train be cancelled over Christmas?

5 November 2019, 15:25

London Paddington will be closed from December 24-27 due to engineering works
London Paddington will be closed from December 24-27 due to engineering works. Picture: PA

By Sylvia DeLuca

Here is everything you need to know about train journeys over the Christmas period that will be affected by disruption and possible strike action.

Rail chiefs and unions say engineering work in December is necessary to minimise disruption as "significantly fewer people travel over the Christmas holidays".

London Paddington

London Paddington will be closed from December 24-27 and a reduced timetable will be in place as Network Rail carries out work as part of the heavily delayed Crossrail project.

Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express and TfL Rail services will be affected.

Network Rail is carrying out a total of 386 projects over the festive period. However there are around 25% fewer engineers working this Christmas compared with 2018, meaning more lines and services will operate as normal.

King's Cross

Major upgrade works are taking place at London King's Cross, including tunnel and structure work, drainage inspections and upgrading overhead line equipment.

The majority of this will take place over Christmas Day and Boxing Day - when most of the rail network is traditionally shut down - but there will also be limited trains from Kings Cross station on the morning of December 27.

Other services

Other engineering work means Southeastern Highspeed and Eurostar trains will not stop at Ashford, Kent between December 26-29.

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

South Western Rail

Today rail union RMT confirmed that a total of 27 days of strike action will take place in December as part of their #KeepTheGuardOnTheTrain industrial action.

The strike is expected to take place from Monday 2nd December until Wednesday 11th December, Friday 13th December until Tuesday 24th December, and Friday 27th December until 1st January 2020.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:“Our members have been left with no choice but to call a further 27 days of strike action on South Western Railway.

“At the last meeting we held with SWR principles in agreements were made in good faith with the company’s negotiating team and we now feel hugely let down again. As long as the company continues to refuse to give assurances on the future operational role of the guard we will remain in dispute."