Christmas rail disruption: Engineering work and station closures to affect London journeys

Commuters at London Liverpool Street
Passengers pack onto a platform at London Liverpool Street station Credit: PA

Thousands of London rail passengers face major disruption over Christmas as Network Rail carries out hundreds of engineering projects.

The organisation which manages the infrastructure of Britain's railways said a total of 300 projects were planned at a cost of £120 million.

While around 95% of the rail network will stay open rail bosses urged travellers to check and plan journeys in advance.

"Christmas is an important time for the railway as it gives us the opportunity to get a lot of work done to improve the railway when trains aren’t running, and therefore keep disruption for our passengers at a minimum," said Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines.

Here's how London rail services will be affected.

  • London Liverpool Street - the station will be closed between Christmas Day and January 2 for work including bridge reconstruction and track maintenance. This will affect Greater Anglia, Stansted Express and c2c services.

  • London Victoria - no Southern or Gatwick Express services to or from the station between Christmas Day and January 2 to allow signalling and track work to take place at Clapham Junction and Balham. Most trains will be diverted to London Bridge.

  • London Euston - Avanti West Coast trains running between Euston and Glasgow Central will run to a reduced timetable between Christmas Eve and December 30. This is because of a combination of track renewals at Harlesden, north-west London; platform work at Milton Keynes Central; and bridge work at Camden, north London and Wolverton, Milton Keynes.

  • Cannon Street - signal and track renewals in Lewisham mean Cannon Street station will be closed on Christmas Eve.

  • London Waterloo - reduced service for short-distance trains from London Waterloo between December 27 and New Year’s Day because of bridge strengthening work in Battersea.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines added: "We’ve worked closely with our train operators to ensure the vast majority of the network is open for business over the festive period so people can travel by rail to spend time with their families and friends.

"However, some of these key upgrade projects will have an impact on services, so we’re asking passengers to plan their journeys before travelling.

"And a huge thank you to the thousands of rail workers who will be working over this period to keep services running and delivering upgrades to improve our railway, therefore bringing more reliable journeys to passengers in the future."

Railway workers are also set to stage a series of 48-hour strikes in December and January in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. More than 40,000 members of the RMT union across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will strike on December 13, 14, 16 and 17 and on January 3, 4, 6 and 7. There will also be an overtime ban across the railways from December 18 until January 2, meaning the RMT will be taking industrial action for four weeks.

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