The ultimate guide to Christmas 2021 train travel

Want to find out when and where trains are running over Christmas and New Year this year? You've come to the right place. Our guide to Christmas 2021 train travel is here to help.

Read on for information on planned engineering works for the 2021-22 Christmas and New Year period, disruption info and advice on how to travel cheaply and safely. For specific info, skip down to the relevant section on the page:

So, when do trains actually run during the Christmas period?

DayDateTravel summary
Christmas EveFriday 24th December 2021Train services run as usual but may end a bit earlier on Christmas Eve.
Christmas DaySaturday 25th December 2021No train services run on Christmas Day.
Boxing DaySunday 26th December 2021No train services run on Boxing Day, except for a handful of airport transfer services.
New Year's EveFriday 31st December 2021Train services run as usual but may end a bit earlier on New Year's Eve.
New Year's DaySaturday 1st January 2022Train services run as usual but may start a bit later than usual on New Year's Day.

Engineering works over the Christmas period

Network Rail often use the festive period as a chance to perform vital engineering works across the rail. We will keep this page updated with the latest news on planned works and disruptions.

This page will be updated with major engineering works over the festive period as they are announced. For more details on individual engineering works updates, visit our train engineering works page.

Monday 20th to Friday 24th December: Amended late night and early morning service to and from Wolverhampton

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service between Glasgow Central and Motherwell

Monday 27th to Tuesday 28th December: Amended services to and from London Euston

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended late night and early morning services between London Euston and Wolverhampton

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from London Euston

Saturday 1st to Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended services to and from Glasgow Central and Edinburgh

Saturday 1st January 2022: Buses replace trains to and from Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service between Glasgow Central and Motherwell

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended Caledonian Sleeper services

Monday 27th to Wednesday 29th December: Amended service between Banbury and Birmingham New Street and Newcastle

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service at Bristol Parkway

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service to and from Leeds

Saturday 1st January 2022: Buses replace trains between Cambridge and Stansted Airport

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from Leeds

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended trains in the Winchester, Southampton and Bournemouth area

Saturday 1st January 2022: Buses replace trains to and from Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Buses replace trains between Birmingham New Street and Redditch and Bromsgrove

There are currently no planned engineering works impacting Gatwick Express over the Christmas period.

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th December: No Great Northern services

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended Great Northern services

Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th December: No trains to or from Moorgate

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Buses replace late night and early morning trains between Alexandra Palace and Stevenage via Hertford North

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Buses replace trains between Hitchin and Peterborough until 07:30

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended service between Finsbury Park and London Kings Cross until 08:30

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from London Liverpool Street

Saturday 1st January 2022: Buses replace trains between Cambridge and Stansted Airport

Friday 24th December: The 19:08 from Hull to London Kings Cross and the 20:30 from London Kings Cross to Hull won't run.

Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th December: No services running

Monday 27th December: The 07:27 from London Kings Cross to Hull won't run

 

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: The following services have been cancelled...

Northbound

The 08:06 train from Kings Cross to Lincoln
The 09:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 10:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 14:06 train from Kings Cross to Lincoln
The 15:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 16:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 20:33 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 21:33 train from Kings Cross to Leeds

Southbound

The 05:30 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 07:15 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 11:27 train from Lincoln to Kings Cross
The 11:45 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 12:45 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 17:27 train from Lincoln to Kings Cross
The 17:45 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 18:45 train from Leeds to Kings Cross

Friday 24th December: The following services have been cancelled...

Northbound

The 08:06 train from Kings Cross to Lincoln
The 10:33 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 14:06 train from Kings Cross to Lincoln
The 16:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds


Southbound

The 06:56 train from Skipton to Kings Cross
The 11:27 train from Lincoln to Kings Cross
The 13:15 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 17:27 train from Lincoln to Kings Cross

Monday 27th to Thursday 30th December: The following services have been cancelled...

Northbound

The 09:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 10:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 15:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 16:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 20:33 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 21:33 train from Kings Cross to Leeds

Southbound

The 05:29 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 07:15 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 11:44 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 12:45 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 17:43 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 18:45 train from Leeds to Kings Cross

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service to and from Leeds

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service between Glasgow Central and Motherwell

Friday 31st December: The following services have been cancelled...

Northbound

The 10:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds
The 16:03 train from Kings Cross to Leeds

Southbound

The 07:13 train from Leeds to Kings Cross
The 12:45 train from Leeds to Kings Cross

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from Leeds

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from London Euston

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: Amended late night Northern services to and from Manchester Piccadilly

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: Amended late night services between Clitheroe and Rochdale and Blackburn

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service to and from Leeds

Monday 27th to Tuesday 28 December: Buses replace trains between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale and Salford Crescent

Monday 27th to Thursday 30th December: Amended evening services between Manchester Victoria and Blackburn

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended evening and morning trains in the Manchester, Liverpool and Chester area

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from Leeds

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022: Buses replace trains between Hull and Doncaster

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: No trains at Manchester Victoria

Saturday 1st January 2022: Buses replace trains to and from Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Buses replace trains between Wigan North Western and Buckshaw Parkway and Preston

Monday 20th to Friday 24th December: Buses replace late night and early morning trains between East Croydon and Oxted and East Grinstead and Uckfield

Monday 20th to Friday 24th December: Buses replace late night and early morning trains between Redhill and Tonbridge

Tuesday 21th to Friday 24th December: Buses replace early morning trains between Barnham and Bognor Regis / Chichester

Saturday 25th December to Monday 3rd January 2022: No Southern trains to and from London Victoria

Sunday 26th December: Reduced Southern service on Boxing Day

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Buses replace late night and early morning trains between Eastbourne and Hastings

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Buses replace late night and early morning trains between East Croydon and East Grinstead and Uckfield

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022: Buses replace trains overnight between Redhill and Horley

Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd January 2022: Buses replace overnight trains between Haywards Heath and Brighton

Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th December: Amended service through Woking

Wednesday 29th to Friday 31st December: Reduced train service at Vauxhall

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended trains in the Winchester, Southampton and Bournemouth area

Sunday 2nd January 2022:  Buses replace trains between Virginia Water and Reading and Aldershot

Monday 20th to Friday 24th December: Amended evening and morning services between Cwmbran and Newport

Monday 20th to Friday 24th December: Buses replace evening and morning trains between Rhyl and Holyhead

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: Buses replace evening trains between Cardiff Central and Bridgend via Pontyclun

Sunday 26th December to Friday 7th January 2022: Amended services between Pontypridd and Aberdare / Merthyr Tydfil

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended late night / early morning services between Chester and Manchester Airport

Monday 27th to Wednesday 29th December: Buses replace late night / early morning trains between Crewe and Shrewsbury

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: Amended late night and early morning TransPennine Express service

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service to and from Leeds

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service between Glasgow Central and Motherwell

Monday 27th to Tuesday 28th December: Buses replace trains between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale and Salford Crescent

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from Leeds

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended services to and from Glasgow Central and Edinburgh

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: No trains at Manchester Victoria

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Buses replace trains between Upminster and Grays and Pitsea

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from London Liverpool Street

Monday 27th to Wednesday 29th December:  Amended service to and from London Marylebone

Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December: Amended services between London St Pancras International and Corby, Nottingham and Sheffield

Monday 13th to Friday 17th December: Amended late night and early morning services between Nottingham and Liverpool Lime Street

Monday 13th to Friday 17th December: Amended late night services between Nottingham and Worksop

Monday 13th to Friday 17th December: Amended late night and early morning East Midlands Railway services to and from London St Pancras International

Friday 24th December: The last services to depart on Christmas Eve will be...

Northbound

The 16:48 from London Kings Cross to Sunderland
The 16:27 from London Kings Cross to Bradford Interchange

Southbound

The 12:20 from Sunderland to London Kings Cross
The 10:22 from Bradford Interchange to London Kings Cross

Monday 27th December: The 08:27 from London Kings Cross to Sunderland service won't run

Friday 31st December: The last services to depart on New Year's Eve will be...

Northbound

The 16:48 from London Kings Cross to Sunderland
The 16:27 from London Kings Cross to Bradford Interchange

Southbound

The 12:20 from Sunderland to London Kings Cross
The 10:22 from Bradford Interchange to London Kings Cross

Saturday 1st January 2021: No services running

Sunday 2nd January 2021: The 09:50 from London Kings Cross to Sunderland won't run

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: Amended late night service between Reading and Didcot Parkway

Monday 20th to Friday 24th December: Amended late night and early morning service at Burnham and Taplow

Monday 20th to Friday 24th December: Amended late night and early morning service between Cardiff Central and Bridgend

Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd December: Amended evening trains in the Exeter St Davids area

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended service at Bristol Parkway

Monday 27th to Thursday 30th December: Buses replace trains between Reading and Bedwyn

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Amended services via Bristol Temple Meads

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended evening and morning services in the Dawlish area

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended trains in the Winchester, Southampton and Bournemouth area

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Buses replace evening and morning trains to and from Burnham

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended morning trains in the Westbury area

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Amended early morning services between Reading and Gatwick Airport

Friday 24th December: No Heathrow Express services after 22:55 due to planned engineering works

The last service from London Paddington is 22:55
The last service from Heathrow Terminal 5 is 22:27
The last service from Heathrow Central is 22:32

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th December: No Heathrow Express services due to planned engineering works

There are currently no planned engineering works impacting the Island Line over the Christmas period.

Monday 27th December: Amended London Northwestern Railway service between London Euston and Tring, Milton Keynes Central and Northampton

Monday 27th to Friday 31st December: Buses replace late night and early morning trains between Milton Keynes Central and Northampton

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022: Amended services to and from London Euston

There are currently no planned engineering works impacting Merseyrail services over the Christmas period.

Sunday 12th December: Buses replace trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh and Perth and Dundee

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: Amended late night service at Faversham

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: Buses replace late night trains between London Victoria and Shortlands

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: No late night trains between Grove Park and Bromley North

Tuesday 21st December: Buses replace late night trains between Sheerness-on-Sea and Sittingbourne

Monday 27th December to Monday 3rd January 2022: Major engineering work affecting services via Lewisham

Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th December: Buses replace trains between Swanley and Strood

Saturday 1st January 2022: Buses replace trains between Sevenoaks and Ashford International

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Buses replace trains between Folkestone West and Deal and Canterbury East

Friday 24th December: The last Stansted Express services running are:

The 23:25 from London Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport

The 23:59 from Stansted Airport to London Liverpool Street

Sunday 26th December: Engineering work will be taking place at London Liverpool Street station and Stansted Express services can only operate between Tottenham Hale and Stansted Airport. Please use the Victoria Line to travel between Tottenham Hale and Central London

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January: Amended services to and from London Liverpool Street

Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd December: Amended 23:19 Birmingham New Street to Hednesford service

Monday 27th until 20:00 on Wednesday 29th December: Buses replace trains between Dorridge and Warwick Parkway and Stratford-upon-Avon

Saturday 1st January 2022: Buses replace trains between Birmingham New Street and Tame Bridge Parkway

Sunday 2nd January 2022: Buses replace trains between Birmingham New Street and Redditch and Bromsgrove

Are trains running on Christmas Day?

No trains run in the UK on Christmas Day. However, there will be some National Express coaches running to help you get home to those all-important roast dinners and mince pies.

You can buy coach tickets with us online or in our app, and with prices generally being cheaper than train tickets, it's a great way to save money especially if you're feeling the pinch this Christmas!

Find coach tickets

Are trains running on Boxing Day?

A very limited number of services usually run on Boxing Day. Use our Journey Planner to check whether your train is running.

Usually the only trains that run on Boxing Day are a handful of airport transfer services, such as the Stansted Express.

Find times & tickets

Are trains running over the New Year's period?

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve trains will be in operation on most lines, although the last train may be a little earlier than usual, with some services terminating earlier in the day. Use our Journey Planner to organise your trip, so that you don’t miss out on the celebrations!

New Year’s Day

Don’t forget, train drivers are people too, and they have a right to celebrate and ring in the new year! With that being said, expect some train services to start running a little later in the day than usual on New Year’s Day. You know what to do, check your journey on our website well in advance or purchase coach tickets if you need to leave a little earlier.

How to buy cheap train tickets this Christmas

Wherever you’re heading this Christmas, our money-saving tips can help you get there as cheaply as possible.

Book in Advance

Train tickets in the UK normally go on sale around 12 weeks before the departure date, usually at their cheapest price. Buying Advance train tickets is a great way to save those pennies.

Find out more about Advance train tickets.

Sign up to Ticket Alert

Planning ahead? Be the first to know when Advance tickets for your chosen train journey go on sale with our Ticket Alert tool. We'll ping you an email as soon as tickets are available to buy.

Find out more about Ticket Alert.

Use a Railcard

You can save 1/3 of eligible train journeys across the UK with a Railcard – all for just £30 a year! From Railcards for certain ages to groups or people travelling in certain areas, see which one you’re eligible for. Find out more about buying digital Railcards online with us.

Split your tickets

Did you know it’s can be cheaper to split your train journey into sections rather than buying one ticket? Luckily, our clever app feature SplitSave does it all for you!

Find out more about split tickets.

Book your Avanti & LNER tickets early

The festive season is expected to be extra busy this year due to limited seating on Avanti & LNER routes, so book your tickets as soon as possible to get a spot on that all important train ride home. Once they sell out, there will be no additional seats available.

 

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Train travel advice

We want to help make your train journey this Christmas as smooth and safe as possible. Our top travel recommendations for taking the train this festival season include:

 

Face Coverings

From Tuesday 30th November 2021, face coverings are mandatory on public transport in England, Scotland and Wales. Check our latest travel advice page to find out more.

Seat reservations

Some train operators like LNER won't allow you to travel without a seat reservation, whilst others like Avanti West Coast, GWR and CrossCountry highly recommend you book one in advance. Seat reservations are always available with us when you need them.

 

Digital tickets

Go contactless with digital tickets to bypass the queues and ticket machines. Digital tickets are available on most UK routes and can be scanned directly from your phone, no need to print.

Download our app

Get up-to-date journey information before you travel, and on the go, with our app. Find live train times, platform information and track your train all in one place.

Limit your luggage

Bring only what you can carry as there is likely to be limited space on board the train. Due to social distancing restrictions, staff may not be able to assist you and your luggage on and off the train. 

Book assisted travel

If you need assistance, you can book assisted travel up to six hours before the journey.

Arrive early

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the station and board the train. Remember – the doors can close up to 2 minutes before departure.

Plan ahead

Please note that over the Christmas holidays, Network Rail will perform vital engineering works. To keep an eye on the planned works and disruptions, head over to our Future Engineering Work page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most train services shut down early on Christmas Eve, but will run as usual throughout the day. The exception to this is trains running in/out of London Kings Cross - there will be major disruptions to services on Christmas Eve and passengers are advised to seek alternative travel routes.

There will be no trains running on Christmas Day 2021. However, if you do need to travel, coach services will be running throughout the festive period. Check coach times and buy tickets for National Express instead.

Very few services will be running on Boxing Day, with the exception of some airport transfer services, such as the Stansted Express and Heathrow Express.

Train companies usually run an altered service on New Year's Day, with the first trains departing slightly later in the day. Use our Journey Planner to check whether your specific route will be affected.

Book your Christmas train travel today

Ready to book your tickets home for Christmas? Start a search in our Journey Planner today!

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