Travel Updates


Christmas and New Year 2020/2021 Travel Summary

Welcome to the National Rail Enquiries travel advice summary for the Christmas and New Year Bank Holiday period, Wednesday 23 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021.

Major engineering work will be taking place during the holiday period, affecting certain routes. Network Rail carry out essential improvement and engineering work across the rail network during this time as fewer than half the number of people usually travel by train.

Some train companies will also be making changes to their timetable, and to some train times, to match services to the number of customers travelling.

The continuing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is an extra factor this year. Please note that local restrictions are in place across Britain, here's a link to our latest Coronavirus Travel Advice.

Please note, there are no train services running on Christmas Day (Friday 25 December) and only a very limited number of services will be running on a small number of routes on Boxing Day (Saturday 26 December).

Major improvement work on your railway this Bank Holiday

London Kings Cross - Closure of all lines to and from the station Saturday 26 to Wednesday 30 December inclusive, with work continuing until Sunday 3 January.

London Waterloo - Amended service, and the closure of Vauxhall and Queenstown Road stations, from Sunday 27 December to Sunday 3 January.

London Liverpool Street - Amended TfL Rail and Greater Anglia service on the line to/from Shenfield Saturday 26 December to Sunday 3 January.

Bristol Temple Meads - Major disruption to services on Sunday 27 December, with work continuing until Friday 8 January.

Engineering work and timetables

Normally, the timetable for any particular day is confirmed 12 weeks in advance. For a temporary period Network Rail isn’t able to do this, instead confirming engineering work and timetables approximately 5 weeks in advance. This means that for some routes online journey planners, including National Rail Enquiries, may not be completely accurate until 5 weeks before travel.

Where we are aware that the timetable is not yet correct, the National Rail Enquiries journey planner will show a yellow warning triangle against the trains concerned - please check back nearer to your travel date.

For details of engineering works, and their possible impact on your journey, please continue to check here.

Check your journey 

You can find the best value fare for your journey using our Cheapest Fare Finder.

To find out more about your rights if a train changes, please check here.

Social Media

For the latest rail travel news, why not follow National Rail Enquiries on Twitter? Over one million people follow @nationalrailenq on Twitter. Our social media team are available 24/7 over the bank holiday weekend to answer your rail queries and supply you with the latest real-time travel updates (except during Christmas Day). You can also follow #ChristmasRailWorks

What service will my train operator be running?

Your can check how your journey will be affected with each train operator by selecting their day-by-day travel guide from the table below:


Our Festive Travel Tips

  • LOCAL RESTRICTIONS ARE IN PLACE ACROSS BRITAIN: Please stay safe, and keep up to date with the latest Coronavirus Travel Advice

  • For the Cheapest Fares: Try the National Rail Enquiries Cheapest Fare Finder. Also, please check your eligibility for a Railcard, which gives a third off most rail fares including Advance tickets.

  • Reserve a seat: We strongly recommend that you reserve a seat where available to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. This may be mandatory for some train companies.

  • Buy your ticket early: Please check our Buying Advance Tickets page frequently to see when tickets are available to buy.

Travelling in London

Details of London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, buses, trams and river services over the Christmas and New Year bank holiday will be available from the Transport for London website.

Booking in advance

Network Rail and the train companies are making changes to their timetables which means that some train times are still to be confirmed, and in some cases the best value fares aren’t currently showing on the National Rail journey planner.

If Advance tickets for your chosen journey haven’t been made available yet, most train companies will let you set-up a ticket alert and email you when the cheapest Advance tickets are available to buy. If you buy an Anytime, Off‐Peak or Super Off‐Peak ticket and later discover a cheaper Advance ticket on sale for the same journey you should book the Advance ticket and ask for a refund on the original ticket – there will be no admin fee. While we will do everything we can to ensure social distancing, trains may be busier than they have been during the pandemic so please remember to check before you travel and book in advance where ever possible.

And finally... a safety reminder

Please remember that the conductor rail and overhead wires remain 'live' even when trains aren't running. Also Network Rail may run engineering or maintenance trains when there are no scheduled passenger services.

So it is NEVER safe to go on the tracks or trespass on the railway - please stay safe.

There is always someone to talk to. You can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 from any phone for a confidential chat.

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Last updated:   22 December 2020