Around 24,000 rail maintenance staff will be undertaking around 200 projects beginning on Christmas Eve, namely the completion stages of the Crossrail & Thameslink lines among others. Paddington, Liverpool Street and London Bridge will be as good as closed and many services from and to Waterloo, Charing Cross and Cannon Street will be cut during the festive period.

National Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne told the Standard “It’s really important that passengers plan their journey carefully and look specifically at the stations they want to use and when these stations may be closed or the services reduced.

What they can’t do is assume they can buy an open ticket to Cornwall and turn up on Christmas Eve and expect to get a train from Paddington.”

The specifics:

Paddington Station: disrupted service until January 3rd. no Heathrow Express, changes at Ealing Broadway (until December 29th)

Liverpool Street Station: cancelled services until January 4th, changes at Newbury Park, bus replacement services to Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich

London Bridge: No services until December 28th

Charing Cross Station: No services until December 28th

Waterloo Station: Closed until December 27th, reduced South West Trains services until January 3rd

Cannon Street: No Southeastern trains until December 27th

If you’re flying home for the holidays these are the effects:

Heathrow: No service to and from Paddington Street Station and Heathrow between 24th – 29th December

Stansted: Bus replacement service from London Liverpool Street and Stansted on 31st December & 1st January

Gatwick: No Gatwick Express service from 10pm 24th December until 4am 4th January (source: National Rail)

Coach operators National Express, megabus and Citylink will all be operating over the Christmas holidays with extra seats available including services on Christmas Day.

source:, National Rail