Rail closures announced for Christmas period

Sinead Moore
Rail closure over Christmas on West Coast Mainline
Rail closure over Christmas on West Coast Mainline

Delays and closures are expected on the West Coast Main Line over Christmas to engineering works.

Rail passengers are being warned to avoid parts of the line during this period and use alternative routes.

According to the BBC, the line will be shut between London Euston and Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire after the last trains on Christmas Eve until 29 December.

It will also close between Stafford and Crewe after the last trains on Christmas Eve until Sunday 28 December.

The closures are necessary as work continues on improvements in the Watford area and between Stafford and Crewe.

Jim Syddall, acting route managing director for Network Rail, said: "There is never a good time to carry out this type of work and we have liaised closely with the train operators to plan for it to take place at a traditionally quieter time on the railway.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused but the work is essential to improve the network and maintain reliable services for the millions of passengers who travel on the west coast mainline every year."

Network Rail is due to carry out a large programme of engineering work over Christmas and new year, causing a number of disruprions.

There will also be a 16-day part closure at London bridge station for work involving the £6.5bn Thameslink programme during this period.

From Saturday 20 December to Sunday 4 January Southern and Thameslink trains will not call at London Bridge and cross-London Thameslink Bedford-Brighton trains will not return until 2018. From Monday December 22 to Christmas Eve some Southeastern Charing Cross services will not call at London Bridge in the morning peak, reports the Guardian.

Cross-London Thameslink Bedford to Brighton trains - to, from or though London Bridge - will not run again until 2018.

Paddington station will also be affected, with some lines closed from 5pm on Christmas Eve until the end of Sunday 28 December.

Engineering work taking place between Slough and Reading West/Tilehurst in Berkshire from Monday 29 December to Saturday 3 January will also affect services.

On 27 and 28 December work taking place between Edge Hill in Liverpool and Earlestown in Merseyside is also closing some lines in north-west England.

Buses will replace trains on Arriva Trains Wales services between Shrewsbury and Hereford from 27 December until 29 December.

Buses will also replace trains between Ascot in Berkshire and Aldershot in Hampshire between the weekend of 27 and 28 December.

Between 27 December and 2 January engineering work between St Albans and West Hampstead will cause disruption between Luton and Sutton and between Blackfriars station in London and Sevenoaks in Kent.

Chiltern Railways will be running trains on Boxing Day and will be operating services between Bicester North and London.

The train company Southeastern which operates in the south-east of England, and ScotRail in Scotland will also be running some services on Boxing Day this year.

On the roads, National Express is doubling the number of coach services on Christmas Day and operating a near-normal service on Boxing Day.


Rail Fares to Increase by Up to 5.5%
Rail Fares to Increase by Up to 5.5%

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