Wondering if you’ll be able to catch a Boxing Day train, or whether your usual rail services will be running? Then you’re in the right place! Read on to find out about which routes will have reduced services over the holiday period and see how you can bag yourself a merry Christmas bargain with our cheap train tickets.
All the information you'll need over the holidays will be here, but please continually check your rail journeys in our booking tool in case of late changes to timetables over the holidays. Don't forget, some TOCs release their tickets up to 12 weeks before the departure date, so now is a good time to book your Advance tickets for Christmas!
This year, Christmas Eve trains will be running on most lines but the last trains of the day will likely be earlier than usual. Please also bear in mind that Network Rail will be carrying out some major upgrades in certain areas.
As most lines are quieter around Christmas, it's usually a good chance for rail companies to carry out necessary engineering works. But worry not! We've got the info you need right here. You can also visit our train company engineering works page to see in-depth information
London Paddington station
From the 24th of December to the 31st of December, there will be major engineering works taking place at London Paddington station. From the 24th to the 27th, all lines will be closed. From the 28th to the 31st of December, only two of the lines will be open, but it's highly recommended that you plan an alternative route to your destination and avoid the station if you can.
Lines between London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria/Southminster
Due to engineering work on overhead cables, all lines will be closed from the 27th of December to the 1st of January. Buses will replace some of these services, but make sure to check before you travel.
Lines between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff Central
From 27th of December to the 2nd of January, engineering works between Bridgend and the Severn Tunnel means buses will replace most of the services on these lines. Trains running between Cardiff Central and Portsmouth Harbour will be diverted between Bristol Parkway and Portsmouth Harbour instead.
Engineering works taking place at Haymarket from the 27th December to 30th December will affect Avanti West Coast, LNER, CrossCountry, TransPennine Express and ScotRail services to and from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Buses will replace some of these services during that time.
This page will be updated with further major engineering works as they are announced, but for now, check our Journey Planner for specific routes on any dates this year.
There won't be any Christmas Day trains in operation. However, there will be some coaches running to help you get home to those all-important roast dinners and mince pies. Again, our best tip here is to check for your route using our Journey Planner.
You can buy coach tickets both through our app and our easy-to-use online booking system, with the added bonus of generally cheaper prices than train tickets. Overall, it's a great way to save money especially if you're feeling the pinch this Christmas!
Only a handful of Boxing Day trains will be running this year, as services wind down for the holiday season, so please check your journey well in advance or purchase coach tickets if there are no trains available.
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!
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.
For the cheapest train tickets this Christmas, make sure to book in advance. Advance train tickets are often released up to 12 weeks before the departure date, and this is when you should be looking to book your ticket. But don’t worry! Even if you’re not 12 weeks early, you could still make savings by at least buying your ticket before the departure day. If you find yourself forgetting to buy tickets, why not sign up for our Advance Ticket Alerts? Simply tell us your route and when you’d like to travel, and we’ll notify you as soon as tickets become available.
If you’re not sure about Advance train tickets or any other type of ticket, please visit our UK ticket types page for more info.
Don’t forget to travel during Off-Peak times for even cheaper tickets – you’ll also have a nicer time if you’re carrying a lot of luggage ahead of the Christmas holidays. To find out more, head over to our Off-Peak train tickets page.
Last but not least, consider purchasing a Railcard for your Christmas train trip. To get a National Railcard, you’ll only to pay around £30 as a one-off. You’ll then be able to apply it to most train tickets you buy for a whole year and get a discount of 1/3 off the price, how’s about that for an early Christmas present!
For more tips on how to save on your festive travels, check out our fun guide to Christmas trains on our blog.
Have you tried Mobile tickets? If not, why not give them a go? You’ll save on time and be able to go straight through to your train! No fuss at the ticket machines.