Christmas upgrades: spotlight on London

This Christmas and New Year we’re making vital improvements to the railway in London.

Passengers travelling through London can look forward to more reliable services and fewer delays when they return to work after the festive period.

Across Britain, a 25,000-strong workforce will carry out more than £148m of vital upgrades. It’s part of the £50bn five-year Railway Upgrade Plan - the biggest sustained investment in the railway since Victorian times.

The works will lead to better infrastructure, improved facilities and increased capacity after the number of people travelling on the rail network has doubled in the last 20 years.

London King's Cross station
London King's Cross station

How are we improving the network in London?

The railway is crucial to the economic prosperity of London, helping it to be one of the most important and influential cities in the world. It enables economic growth, jobs and housing.

We have been working hard in recent years to upgrade the railway in the capital so it can better serve the growing numbers of passengers using it every day. The London Railway Upgrade Plan will create new connections and increase capacity in peak hour by 30 per cent.

London has been home to some of our major projects during this dramatic upgrade of Britain's railway.

Our biggest improvements to date include the landmark redevelopment of London King’s Cross station; Blackfriars station, the first station to span the River Thames, and the Thameslink Programme, which is transforming north-south travel through London.

Blackfriars station

This Christmas and New Year our improvement projects will focus on maintaining existing infrastructure and installing new features to enable a more efficient railway.

Our major investment projects in London this holiday season include:

  • London Liverpool Street: Upgrading the overhead wiring system at Forest Gate junction as part of the £250m upgrade of the Great Eastern Main Line.
  • London Paddington: Installing new track at Heathrow Airport junction to improve reliability.
  • London St Pancras: Replacing the track between London St Pancras and Kentish Town as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade.
  • London Waterloo: Replacing old switches and crossings - the movable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another - with new kit at London Waterloo.
  • London VictoriaInstalling new track at Battersea Pier junction, which will replace infrastructure built in the mid-1970s and improve reliability for the 240,000 passengers who pass through every day.

The railway will remain open for ‘business as usual’ as most of the network will be unaffected by upgrade work.

However, we remind all passengers to check before they travel because there will be significant changes to services on some routes.

Station information for passengers:

Clapham Junction: With work taking place on the routes into London Waterloo and London Victoria, there will be changes to services to or from Clapham Junction from Sunday 23 December to Tuesday 1 January.

London Liverpool Street: There will be changes to train services between London Liverpool Street and Romford from Sunday 23 December to Tuesday 1 January.

London Paddington: There will be no trains to or from London Paddington station from Sunday 23 December to Wednesday 26 December, and on Sunday 30 December.

London St Pancras: There will be reduced services to and from London St Pancras from Monday 24 December to Tuesday 1 January.

London Waterloo: The station will remain open and about half the normal services will be running.

London Victoria: There will be no Southern or Gatwick Express services to or from London Victoria station from Sunday 23 December to Tuesday 1 January.