Passengers warned of Christmas Eve rail disruption

Train passengers travelling on the West Coast Mainline from Cumbria and southern Scotland are being warned to expect Christmas disruption.

Network Rail is carrying out engineering works along the route from this evening until the 27 December.

Railway drainage improvements will be undertaken between Preston and Lancaster.

Tim Shoveller, managing director of Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “While people enjoy time with their friends and families over Christmas, thousands of Network Rail staff will be working round-the-clock to maintain and improve the railway to provide passengers with better, more reliable journeys in the New Year.

“I know there is never a good time to disrupt journeys while we carry out large pieces of work but whenever possible we do this at times when there are significantly fewer people travelling by train, such as Christmas and other bank holidays.

"I appreciate people have important plans so I urge them to please plan ahead and check before they travel for the latest journey information.”

Customers are being advised to plan ahead and check the latest information before they travel by visiting

Credit: PA

In other parts of the rail network, Northern has apologised to passengers after 'unprecedented levels of sickness' and annual leave entitlements reduced services.

The news comes after speculation Northern could be stripped of its franchise, following a government briefing suggesting the Department for Transport is considering the position.

The operator said on its website: "We do not cancel services lightly and routes with cancelled services are chosen carefully to minimise the impact on customers."

"We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause our customers. Please check immediately before you travel."

The planned cancellations will affect:

  • Lancaster – Morecambe: A reduced rail service will be in operation and a replacement bus will also be serving the route.

  • Manchester Piccadilly – Hadfield: A reduced rail service will be in operation.

  • Liverpool Lime Street – Wigan North Western (stopping service): A bus replacement service will operate every hour.