Rail delays for Christmas travellers

Heathrow Express train Image copyright PA
Image caption Father Christmas may come, but not via the Heathrow Express

Rail passengers face significant disruption during the Christmas break as 200 sets of Network Rail engineering works are planned.

Some rail works begin on Christmas Eve, which falls on a Saturday, and are set to continue for four days.

London, Manchester and Cardiff are among the cities hit and the Heathrow Express will be suspended for six days.

Rail bosses recommend people plan their journeys using the National Rail Enquiries website.

It said major works take place during official holidays as up to 50% fewer passengers travel then.

Closures due

More than 95% of the network would open as usual, National Rail's England and Wales managing director Phil Hufton said.

"There's never a good time to impact on journeys and I'd like to thank passengers in advance for their patience, " he said.

Among the works:

  • No trains will operate to or from London Paddington, 24-29 December, because of work on Crossrail
  • The Heathrow Express will be suspended at the same time
  • And Great Western Railway trains will terminate at Ealing Broadway
  • Bus replacements and diversions will be in place to and from London Liverpool Street, 24 December to 2 January
  • Manchester's Oxford Road will have rail replacement buses and diversions from 18-28 December because of work on the Ordsall Chord link from Picadilly to Victoria
  • No late-night trains running between Cardiff Central, Bridgend, Newport and the Valleys on Christmas Eve and disruption from 27 December to 3 January
  • No Southeastern trains to London Bridge and Charing Cross, 24-28 December, apart from the Hastings service which will divert to London Bridge.