Christmas rail journeys hit by engineering work

Train journeys over the Christmas period will be hit by engineering work on some of the country’s busiest rail lines.

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

This will affect Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express and TfL Rail services.

Network Rail is carrying out a total of 386 projects over the festive period.

There are around 25% fewer engineers working this Christmas compared with 2018, meaning more lines and services will operate as normal.

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 the station during the morning of December 27.

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.

“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.”

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