This Christmas and New Year more than 20,000 railway staff will deliver 386 projects to provide better and more reliable services for passengers.

The railway is up to 50% quieter than usual over bank holidays, so doing work at this time of year minimises our impact on passengers.

The improvements will affect a small number of railway lines, although most will remain open as normal. We advise passengers on those routes to check before they travel during the festive period, especially if using services into and out of London Paddington.

For updates follow the hashtag #XmasRailWorks on Twitter.

Vital improvements at London King's Cross station are among our Christmas and New Year upgrades

What are we doing this Christmas?

We’re carrying out a wide range of improvements, including track renewals, overhead line upgrades and bridge refurbishments. These vital projects are part of our efforts to allow trains to run more frequently and faster, and to improve reliability to reduce delays.

What are these projects?

In London, we’re:

Carrying out multiple major upgrade works at London King’s Cross. This includes tunnel and structure work, drainage inspection and upgrading overhead line equipment, resulting in improved capacity, reliability and operational flexibility.

Upgrading track between London Paddington and Slough. This will involve track renewals, switches and crossings and overhead line improvements.

Re-railing and maintaining track between London Liverpool Street and Hackney Downs.

London Liverpool Street station

Elsewhere on our routes, they include improvements in…


Track installation at Colchester and track maintenance and repair in the Bethnal Green and Stratford area.

We will also replace overhead wires on the Southend Victoria line in the Wickford area, extend platforms at Littleport and Waterbeach between Cambridge and King’s Lynn and improve the overhead power supply between Stratford and Lea Bridge and between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street.


A junction renewal near Edinburgh Haymarket railway station. We’ll upgrade Haymarket East junction to renew four sets of points – rails that move to transfer trains from one line to another – and replace more than 250m of track.

Haymarket junction, which lies to the west of the station, is one of the busiest on Scotland’s railway, used by up to 30 trains an hour.

The upgrade will help to improve the reliability of the track and will mean we won’t need to renew the junction again for decades.

South East:

We’re refurbishing parts of the Sanderstead Road railway bridge in South Croydon. The bridge, which sits below one of the country’s busiest stretches of railway, originally dates from 1839. The wrought iron bridge decks were built in 1909 and are now in need of complete replacement.

At Ashford International, we’ll renew switches and crossings to improve track quality and reduce delays caused by track faults.


Work torepair, refurbish and strengthen a bridge at Guildford railway station to keep road traffic moving and improve the railway for more reliable journeys.

It will ensure Farnham Road overbridge remains strong enough to continue to sustain the high levels of road traffic it experiences. Meanwhile, track works will improve reliability.

Read more:

Planned works

Why we carry out major improvement works on weekends and bank holidays