Even more UK trains and fewer buses this Christmas time

11th Dec 2009

Passengers will see more trains, fewer replacement buses and significantly less disruption this Christmas holiday period, compared to previous years, as work affecting train services is cut-back and re-arranged as far as possible.  This will result in the overwhelming majority of passengers being unaffected by work to improve the railway.

New figures published today by train companies and Network Rail show that over the Christmas holiday period (22/12 to 4/1):


    Over £100m will be invested in improving the railway

    33% fewer replacement buses will operate compared with last year


    8,000 more trains will run compared with last year, almost 18,000 more than 2006*

Analysis by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) also shows that 95% of the country’s stations will be served by a rail service during the Christmas period when the network is operating its seasonal service.

Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s director of operations and customer service, said: ”We’re doing a lot of work this year to make Britain’s railway better but the overall effect on the passenger is markedly less.

“Passengers will see more trains, fewer buses and a better service this Christmas holiday period as our vital improvement work starts to use new techniques and equipment that lessens the impact on train services.  This will be the model for the years ahead as we invest heavily to build a bigger, better railway.”

Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC, said: “The vast majority of people travelling by train will be unaffected by improvement work over the Christmas and New Year period.

“Hundreds of millions of pounds are spent all year round by train companies and Network Rail on improving services for passengers and the Christmas period is no different. The investment will help to build on the current record levels of punctuality.

“On the small number of routes that will be affected, train companies have been focussing all their efforts on letting passengers know about any changes to their normal journey. People travelling over the Christmas period should either call National Rail Enquiries or visit its website to check on all aspects of their journey.”

The overwhelming majority of the main routes and cities will remain connected by rail over the Christmas holiday period:


    Birmingham to Manchester, including Stoke-on-Trent

    Birmingham to Plymouth, including Bristol

    Edinburgh to Glasgow

    Leeds to Bradford

    Leeds to Manchester

    London to Birmingham, including Coventry and Birmingham International

    London to Brighton, including East Croydon, Redhill and Gatwick

    London to Edinburgh, including Peterborough, Leeds, York and Newcastle

    London to Glasgow, including Preston, Lancaster and Carlisle

    London to Kent, including Ashford, Canterbury and Dover

    London to Liverpool, including Crewe and Warrington

    London to Manchester, including Stoke and Stockport

    London to Penzance, including Reading, Exeter and Plymouth

    London to Sheffield, including Leicester and Derby

On the very small number of routes that will be affected by vital improvement work, train companies have undertaken advertising campaigns to make passengers aware of any disruption to their services. This includes, posters, leaflets, station announcements, text and twitter alerts, e-mails and information on the national rail website. Network Rail has also undertaken national and regional press and radio advertising.

Network Rail engineers will be working around the clock over the period to deliver more than £100m-worth of rail improvement projects aimed at delivering a better railway.

The work will result in more reliable, faster and potentially more frequent train services.  It will help to build on the current record levels of punctuality and customer satisfaction – more than nine out of ten trains arrive on time and four out of five passengers are satisfied with the service that they receive.


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