South West Trains and Network Rail remind passengers to check before travelling over Christmas and New Year

Published on : Tuesday, December 15, 2015

South West TrainsSouth West Trains passengers travelling during the Christmas and New Year period are being reminded to check their journey in advance with some journeys affected by Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.

The vast majority of the South West Trains network will remain open throughout the Christmas period but there are some amends to the usual weekday services as a result of railway improvement works as well as special timetables which are in operation between Christmas Eve and 4th January.

On Christmas Eve, many services from midday onwards will run with additional carriages to help those travelling back from work or to see family and friends. A revised service will then run from 7pm with all services finished by 11pm. Any passengers travelling on Christmas Eve are strongly advised to complete their journey before 7pm.

As usual there will not be any train services running on Christmas Day or Boxing Day and a revised timetable will then remain in place until Monday 4th January.

Network Rail is carrying out vital work to maintain the River Stour and River Avon viaducts. This will enable us to increase the speed of trains travelling over them and ensure the vital 130 year old rail bridges, can continue to provide safer and more reliable journeys for many years to come.

Work starts at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve and is scheduled to be completed in time for normal services to resume on Monday 4th January. Journeys between Southampton and Weymouth will be affected during this time and passengers should check before travelling.
A revised timetable will remain in place on the rest of the network until Monday 4th January with a small number of other improvement projects taking place.

Arthur Pretorius, Customer Service Director for South West Trains, said: “We will be running longer trains from lunchtime on Christmas Eve to help people get home or to see friends in time for Christmas Day. However, services will stop earlier than normal so we strongly advise people to travel before 7pm.

“The vast majority of our services will continue to run throughout Christmas and into the New Year. However, we will be running a slightly different timetable changed compared to weekdays at other time of the year so please do check before travelling, particularly if you are travelling in Dorset where some trains will be replaced by buses.

“We hope all our passengers have a lovely Christmas and New Year and the usual timetable starts again on Monday 4th January.”

John Halsall, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan this Christmas and New Year our orange army will be working around the clock to improve the railway so that passengers have more reliable journeys.

“The viaducts over the River Avon and Stour are a vital link for passengers in this part of the country and it is important we invest in them so they can continue to serve the growing number of people who rely on rail.

“Once our work is complete, we will be able to increase train speeds over the viaduct and provide safer, more reliable journeys on this stretch of railway for many years to come.
“We would like to thank passengers in advance for bearing with us as it could mean some changes to their travel plans.”


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