Can I catch a Greater Anglia train home from uni for Christmas?

Published on: Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Last updated: Monday, 19 December 2022

  • Your journey

Published 24/11/2020

Yes you can – not everyone is driving home for Christmas and our trains are a safe and environmentally-friendly alternative. We’ve been very busy making our trains and stations as safe as possible during the pandemic so if you need to catch the train home, you can do so with confidence.

We’re cleaning and sanitising our trains

We’ve taken on more train cleaners and stepped up our cleaning regime, with new powerful equipment to keep our trains as hygienic as possible. We’re regularly wiping down high touch areas such as push buttons, grab rails and door handles with virucides. We’re also using fogging guns to spray large areas with a fine mist of disinfectant. Plus we’re carrying out regular tests to make sure our extra cleaning is effective, including randomly testing our trains for Covid-19 – all these tests have come back negative.

Social distancing made easy

We’re running a near normal timetable and using our new longer trains where possible, so it’s easy to socially distance on our trains, especially since passenger numbers are still at a lower level than pre-pandemic. You can help by sitting in a window seat, so you’re further away from people walking down the aisle.

Our stations are marked with plenty of signs, floor markings, protective screens and, in some cases, one-way systems to make social distancing at the station easier. You can help too by using the full length of platforms and trains and not walking to the end of the train when you arrive at terminus stations such as Liverpool Street, Norwich or Cambridge, but getting off from your carriage and walking down the platform instead.

Buy your ticket online

If you buy your ticket online or using our app, you can spend less time at the station, which also helps with social distancing. You can use your student railcard as well for further discounts.

Help us to help you keep safe

A red banner with 'Travelling back from university' written in white text

Please don’t travel if you have any symptoms of Covid-19.

It’s now compulsory to wear a face covering while on our stations and trains. Please make sure it covers your nose and mouth and keep it on for the entire journey. There are some exemptions and you can download an exemption card.

Wash or sanitise your hands regularly. We’re making sure we’re keeping soap and water topped up in our toilets and we have hand sanitiser available at all our staffed stations – but it’s a good idea to carry a little bottle of hand sanitiser with you.

When can I travel?

The Government is suggesting you travel home between 3-9 December. If you’re travelling between London Liverpool Street and East Anglia, you can check our less busy trains page to find the quietest time to travel when there are fewer passengers. If possible, please avoid the rush hours and make your journey off peak – it’s generally cheaper then, too. Check our app for train times.

I’d bought a ticket to travel on another date, can I change it?

Yes, if you have an Advance ticket, you can change your ticket free of charge, if you bought it on or before 11 November, for travel on or after 10 December, but only if you’re now planning to travel between 3 and 9 December. There’s no fee for making the change, but you will have to pay any difference in fare. Either go to a Greater Anglia ticket office or if you originally purchased on the GA website or app, contact our web support team on 0345 600 7245 (option 6). They’re open from 8am to 4pm. Or you can email them on [email protected]

If you’ve got an Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak ticket to travel on or after 10 December, you can change your ticket to travel between 3 and 9 December, as allowed by the terms and conditions of your ticket.

I need assistance to complete my journey – will someone still be able to help me, if I need it?

Yes, of course, we’ll be happy to help you. If you need assistance, we will still help you, although it’s a little bit different since pre-Covid as we must make sure we keep you and our staff safe. Our staff will discuss with you what assistance you require and how they’ll do it maintaining social distance until the assistance is required. Our staff will wear a face covering while they assist you, but if you’re having difficulty hearing them or you need to lip read, they’ll remove it. If you need staff to push your wheelchair or handle your luggage, they’ll sanitise the handles first.

If you need sighted guiding, please sanitise your hands before making physical contact. We don’t expect you to wear gloves. Please wear a face covering, unless you’re exempt, and maintain a safe social distance until the member of staff is ready to help.

If possible, please pre-book your assistance to give us time to prepare.

Have a safe journey and a happy Christmas. We’ll look forward to seeing you again in January.