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Christmas work

An army of 20,000 workers will be tasked with delivering 386 rail improvement projects over the Christmas period.

Although the majority of the network will remain open as usual, a handful of lines will be significantly impacted. Major projects include:

King’s Cross: Multiple upgrade works at the station, including tunnel and structure work, drainage inspection and upgrading overhead line equipment. The majority of these works will take place over Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On December 27, operators will have limited access into King’s Cross until 13:00, and they will run a reduced timetable.

Paddington-Slough: Between December 24-27, there will be no trains from London Paddington because of track renewals, switches and crossings and overhead line works between London Paddington and Slough on the Great Western main line. There will also be a reduced timetable between December 28-31.

Ashford: Switches and crossings renewal works at Ashford International, to reduce delays caused by track faults, means Southeastern Highspeed and Eurostar services will not stop at Ashford between December 26-29. Main line services will run but some will be subject to change.

Liverpool Street-Hackney Downs: Re-railing and track maintenance work between London Liverpool Street and Hackney Downs on the West Anglia main line, to improve service reliability, will result in Stansted Airport services starting and terminating at Tottenham Hale on December 26. Greater Anglia and Arriva Rail London services will run between December 27-29 but will divert around the works on the fast lines.

Network Rail CEO Andrew Haines said: “Our passengers want and deserve a more reliable railway and that’s why this Christmas we are out working on track and behind the scenes to help make that happen.

“Significantly fewer people travel over the Christmas holidays, which is why we do so much work at this time of year.”