Network Rail planned engineering works could spell Christmas travel misery

If only we had a sleigh with flying reindeer!

Network Rail have announced a raft of engineering works for December and the festive period, which will see congestion, delays and timetable alterations across a number of major rail routes affecting travellers. It’s the largest programme of such improvement works ever, and will run across four key networks and lines.

The following services will affected;

Great Western: Routes via Thames Valley, the south-west, Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect between Slough and Paddington closed on 27 and 28 December, then reduced services until January 3.
West Coast Main Line: Stafford to Crewe closed 27 and 28 December. Fewer services and diversionary route for Virgin Trains. London Midland services replaced by buses.
London to Gatwick and Brighton line: Closures between East Croydon and Redhill from 26 December to 4 January, with replacement buses for Southern and Thameslink services. No Gatwick Express.
London Liverpool Street to East Anglia: Line to Ipswich, Norwich, Cambridge and Ely closed between Colchester and Marks Tey on 7-28 December, with replacement buses. Ingatestone, Southend Victoria and Southminster line closed and buses replace trains 28 and 28 December.
Southeastern Services: Disruptions to Kent lines.

There will be no overground train service to Heathrow on 27 and 28 December and at least an hour should be added onto all train journeys to Gatwick for a week.

The works are expected to cost £150m, and is “aimed at meeting surging demand and improving and expanding” the rail network, say Network Rail.

Of course, for those travelling, particularly to major airports and travel hubs across the festive period, this will cause major disruption. Why not see which liftsharers are driving your way instead?

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Author Lex Barber

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