UK

Rail closures over Christmas on West Coast Main Line

Passengers waiting at London Bridge station Image copyright PA
Image caption Passengers can expect to see delays at London Bridge station over the Christmas period

Rail travellers are being warned to avoid parts of the West Coast Main Line over the Christmas period owing to engineering works.

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.

Other delays include a 16-day part closure of London Bridge station.

The station will be partially closed while work involving a £6.5bn programme of improvements to the north-south £6.5bn Thameslink service is carried out.

'Traditionally quieter time'

On the roads, National Express is doubling the number of coaches it runs on Christmas Day and it is also running a reduced service on Boxing Day.

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 main line every year."

Other expected rail disruptions include:

  • From Saturday 20 December to Sunday 4 January, Southern and Thameslink trains will not call at London Bridge
  • On 27 and 28 December work taking place between Edge Hill in Liverpool and Earlestown in Merseyside is 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
  • Cross-London Thameslink Bedford to Brighton trains - to, from or though London Bridge - will not run again until 2018
  • From Monday 22 December to Christmas Eve some Southeastern Charing Cross services will not call at London Bridge at peak morning times
  • On the Paddington route, engineering work between Southall in west London and Slough in Berkshire, means some lines will be closed from 5pm on Christmas Eve until the end of Sunday 28 December
  • Delays are also expected between Slough and Reading West and Tilehurst in Berkshire from Monday 29 December to Saturday 3 January
  • Buses will replace trains between Ascot in Berkshire and Aldershot in Hampshire between the weekend of 27 and 28 December
  • From 27 December and 2 January engineering work between St Albans in Hertfordshire and West Hampstead in north-west London will cause delays to services between Luton and Sutton in south-west London, and between Blackfriars station in London and Sevenoaks in Kent

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.

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