Major changes to train services this Christmas – check before you travel

From Saturday December 23rd until Monday, January 1st 2018, there will be changes to rail services across London and the south east so passengers are being advised to check before they travel

The changes are as a result of major improvement works being carried out as part of the Thameslink Programme and will affect Southeastern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Southern services as well as other train operators. There will be no National Rail services running at all on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

There will be no services to Charing Cross, London Bridge, Waterloo East or Cannon Street during this time and no trains to St Johns, New Cross, Grenwich, Westcombe Park, Maze Hill or Deptford. 

A different timetable to normall will be in operation with some services diverted to Victoria, Warleroo and Blackfriars but overall there will be far fewer trains running overall than usual during this time and services are likely to be a lot busier. 

Passengers are therefore being advised to prepare in advance for this and to allow more time for their journeys. 

Planning some last minute Christmas shopping? 

People travelling to central London over these dates are likely to be severely impacted and are advised to make alternative plans to complete their journey.

Going abroad for Christmas?

A reduced timetable will run between Victoria and Gatwick Airport from December 23rd until January 1st 2018 with no trains at all on Christmas Day or Boxing Day although a replacement bus service will be available on Boxing Day. Passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journey. 

Train services to other London airports and St Pancras International will also be affected by closures, so please check your journey before you travel. 

Detailed travel advice

Detailed travel information and advice to help you plan for these closures is now live at

Here you can select your home station to access bespoke information about how services at your station will be impacted by Thameslink Programme and other work over the festive period. This includes alternative journey options and information on ticket acceptance.
You can also plan your journey using the National Rail website which has the full timetable details of all services from all train operators over the festive period.

Operator by operator:


Southeastern services will not run to or from Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Waterloo East, London Bridge, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park, New Cross and St Johns for the entire period of December 23rd to January 1st.

As well as closures of stations in the London area, there will be changes to the timetables of all Southeastern trains over the Christmas period, including high speed services. There will be no high speed services running on Boxing Day this year. Victoria is expected to be very busy, especially during peak times on December 27th, 28th and 29th and passengers are strongly advised to avoid travelling via Victoria at these times if possible.

An amended Southeastern timetable with a significantly reduced service will operate to Victoria, Blackfriars and Waterloo from December 27th -29th. There will be some additional high speed services to St Pancras International and non-high speed tickets will be accepted on these dates.


From December 23rd to January 1st, Thameslink services will not run through central London and will instead be terminating at Blackfriars, Victoria or London Bridge, if coming from the south, and at St Pancras International, if travelling from the north.  There will be no Thameslink service at either City Thameslink or Farringdon.


For Southern passengers, a reduced Southern service will operate to and from London Bridge from December 27th to January 1st. There will be no train service at Redhill and replacement buses will run between Purley and Horley via Redhill and between Redhill and Tonbridge/Reigate.

Gatwick Express

A reduced timetable will run between Victoria and Gatwick Airport from December 23rd to January 1st 2018. Trains to Gatwick will not run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, although a replacement bus will be available on Boxing Day.


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