Over the Christmas period, most of the Greater Anglia network will be open as usual. On Christmas Eve, the last services of the day will be earlier than usual. There will be no services on Christmas Day, and on Boxing Day the only services operating are some Stansted Express services. Between the 27 December and 3 January, Network Rail is carrying out improvement works on the Great Eastern Main Line and Southend line, so this will mean rail replacement buses will be in operation. A full route by route summary of services can be found below.
Travel with confidence
We are doing all we can to ensure you can travel safely over Christmas. Our efforts include, regularly wiping down high touch areas, using fogging guns to disinfect large areas and ensuring our trains are COVID-19 free by conducting tests of our trains. On top of this, we have plenty of signs, floor markings and protective screens, reminding you to always wear a face covering and to social distance. In some cases, we even have one-way systems to ensure social distancing can be easily done on your journey. View our COVID-19 travel advice page to find out more about how we are keeping you safe.
How busy will trains be in the lead up to Christmas?
If you need to travel by train then you should do so in accordance with Government guidance, and limit your journeys if you are in Tier 4 by only travelling for work or school. We will be providing services with plenty of capacity throughout this period to enable social distancing. Busier periods for travel are expected to be morning peak services to London and afternoon and evening peak services from London on both 23 and 24 December. As a reminder, there will be engineering works affecting Great Eastern Main Line and Southend line services on 27 December, so please do check the details for your journey before you travel, if your trip involves those routes. We also encourage you to sign up for the National Rail Enquiries ‘Alert Me by Messenger’ service to be notified if your train or station is expected to be busy.
If there are no space available on rail services, you may be able to make your journey by coach. The Government is working with the National Express, Megabus and Snap to provide additional services by coach during the travel window. We encourage you not to join a train which is full, if that means that you will not be able to maintain social distancing.
Advance bookings and reservations
Although we encourage you to buy your ticket in advance, you are not required to make a reservation as this feature is not currently available due to the roll out of our new trains fleet. Tickets are available around 12 weeks in advance of travel, and therefore we’re already taking bookings well into next year, and our home page is updated with the dates our Advance tickets are available. Although tickets are available for purchase well in advance, journey planners are updated with the latest timetable at a few weeks at a time and so we encourage you to check journey planners a week before you travel in all cases. The final timetable for the Christmas and New Year period is now live in journey planners.
As always, we urge you not to travel if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 and to keep a safe distance and wear a face covering at all times when travelling on our trains or visiting our stations.
Route service summaries