Last few days for passengers to plan their journeys ahead of Network Rail’s bumper Christmas investment

  • Major service restrictions will be in place from Saturday 23 December to 1 January
  • Improvement work at Sevenoaks Tunnel between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks from Saturday, 23 to Tuesday, 26 December
  • Work to complete the new platform at Redhill station from Saturday, 23 December to Monday, 1 January 2018.
  • On 2 January the final section of London Bridge’s huge, modern concourse will open
  • Platforms 1 – 5 will be complete, allowing Cannon Street services to once again call at London Bridge

With just a few days to go until Network Rail begins the biggest Christmas investment programme to date, passengers are reminded to plan ahead and make sure to check before they travel throughout the festive period.

Throughout Christmas and New Year, a team of over 1100 Network Rail engineers will be working around the clock across the south east to deliver improvement work at Sevenoaks Tunnel, the new platform at Redhill and – over at London Bridge station – the Thameslink Programme will be preparing to open the final section of the huge, new, street-level concourse and newly rebuilt platforms 1-5 at London Bridge.

From Saturday 23 December until Monday 1 January there will be significant line and station closures affecting Southeastern, Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express services, as well as other train operators. No services will run in the south east on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, including High Speed trains to and from St Pancras International.

Passengers travelling into central London during the festive period, or to Gatwick Airport on Boxing Day, could be severely impacted by the work and will need a ‘plan B’ to complete their journeys. Passengers are advised to check before they travel and make detailed travel plans by visiting www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/2017. Works elsewhere during the quieter Christmas period will also affect other National Rail services and transport in London, find out more at www.nationalrail.co.uk/christmas and www.tfl.gov.uk/christmas-travel.

John Halsall Network Rail’s South East route managing director, said: “This Christmas heralds a huge milestone for the Thameslink Programme and many benefits for the millions of passengers who use London Bridge station each year. January marks the start of the final countdown to the completion of this modern station with better facilities, new journey options and– throughout 2018 – a vast array of new retail facilities to continue the regeneration of the area. I would like to thank passengers for their patience and wish them a Merry Christmas and New Year.”

Nick Brown, Chief Operating Officer for Govia Thameslink Railway which operates Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “There are significant changes to our train services this festive period, particularly at Redhill and Gatwick Airport. This supports our programme to modernise the network with new infrastructure, new trains, new technology and new, faster, seamless journeys. I would urge passengers to check and plan ahead.”

Ellie Burrows, Train Services Director, Southeastern, said: “As the festive period approaches, passengers will no doubt already be thinking about alternative travel arrangements for visiting family and friends and avoiding the peak times where possible. We look forward to restoring full Southeastern services from January.”

After the Christmas and New Year period begins the countdown to the completion of the transformation of London Bridge. There will still be work to do in the station and on the tracks, but this will be completed during evenings and weekends, rather than working days. Once complete, London Bridge will be a modern, spacious and fully accessible station, fit for the 21st century and able to support the new timetables, meaning better journeys, more reliable services for passengers and, from May 2018, Thameslink services returning to London Bridge for the first time in over three years, serving a range of  new destinations.