Meet the regions’ men and women keeping the railway running during the Christmas break

Published on: Thursday, 21 December 2017
Last updated: Monday, 19 December 2022

  • Your journey

Published 28/12/2017

As thousands of people across the region enjoy some rest and relaxation during the Christmas break, Greater Anglia employees will be keeping the railway running to help those travelling home, visiting loved ones, commuting to work or heading to the sales.

The only day when no trains run anywhere on the network is Christmas Day itself. For the other 364 days of the year the dedicated men and women of Greater Anglia are working day in, day out, to make sure customers can make their journeys.

During Christmas week, our drivers and conductors will be working from 5am to 1am to make sure customers can make their journeys. Driver manager, Nick Jary, has volunteered to be on hand to look after the drivers during this time and will the last person to close up the Norwich Driver depot late on Christmas Eve and the first back in to open up on Boxing Day night to prepare for the next morning’s service.

Station staff like Nicola Garwood at Norwich will be keeping up a friendly, warm welcome for passengers who pass through their stations. Nicola has created a Santa’s grotto outside the Customer Services Office at Norwich this year and many other stations around the network are trimmed up and looking festive thanks to the efforts of the staff who work there.

There will be nine people on duty in the Liverpool Street ticket office on Boxing Day ready to welcome everyone who pops in to top up their Oyster Card or buy tickets for the London Underground as they hit the sales.

In addition, because of the engineering works taking place from 23 December until the 1 January, Greater Anglia has drafted in 600 additional staff to help with the rail replacement service – and 1500 bus drivers to drive them – ensuring that passengers can still reach their destinations with minimum inconvenience.

Rail replacement staff will help to guide people onto 750 rail replacement bus services over 10 days, as well as ensuring they run smoothly.

Greater Anglia’s depots at Norwich and Ilford have to stay open over the Christmas period to ensure that they can service all the trains that still need attention – they don’t know it’s Christmas. On Christmas Eve at Norwich Crown Point, instead of decorating the tree, three Yard Controllers and five Yard Assistants will be working right through until 0600 on Christmas morning. They are joined by 17 engineering staff and six train cleaners who help them to ensure the trains are in tip-top condition.

Trains don’t run on Christmas Day and so our depot teams have a well-earned rest – apart from the Security Gate staff at both depots who keep going all through Christmas Day - but by Boxing Day night and through to New Year’s Day, there will 58 engineering staff back at Norwich Crown Point Depot.

And it’s not just front-line teams who will be continuing to keep up a great service. Greater Anglia’s social media team will continue to tweet service information and provide help on Christmas Eve. KB is on duty on Christmas Eve to provide information and help to passengers via Twitter and RB will be spending his birthday running the Twitter feed on 27 December.

At the Greater Anglia Control Room, five managers will go in on Christmas Day evening to oversee the preparations for running the Stansted Express service on Boxing Day. Directors and managers, including the media team, also provide on call cover 24/7 throughout the Christmas period.

Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, commented, “I’m very proud of the dedication and enthusiasm of my colleagues who work hard, day in, day out, to provide a safe, reliable, punctual service to our customers. I know that they will do everything they can to get people to their destinations over the Christmas period and keep the railway running smoothly.”