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Be prepared for Christmas rail delays

What's in store for passengers this holiday season

train uk

A huge programme of engineering work will take place on Britain’s railways over the Christmas period. 

It might be good news in the long run, but for travellers trying to see friends and family over the holidays, it can be a nightmare.

Christmas engineering works

These works traditionally take place over the Christmas holidays because fewer people use the railway at that time of year.

However, it may not seem that way to people crammed onto crowded trains on Christmas Eve or facing as they try to get home.

This year there will be more than 40 sets of engineering work taking place between 24 December and 2 January and 18 out of a total of 26 train operating companies will be affected. 

If you think you should get compensation for train delays and cancellations, see our guide. 

Your cancellation rights 

Network Rail says there will be fewer replacement buses than last year and less disruption but accepts there will be disruption from major works, particularly on routes to and from London Liverpool Street, and around the Dover, Faversham, Reading, Birmingham, Stockport, Paisley and Edinburgh areas.

To find out if your Christmas travel plans are likely to be hit you can see a list of all the routes and train operating companies affected here. Find out your rights if your travel plans are disrupted . 

More on this…

  • National Rail Enquiries information on Christmas travel
  • The Which? one-stop guide to
  • For inspiration, practical advice and recommendations, subscribe to Which? Travel
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