SOUTH Western Railway (SWR) is asking customers to plan ahead over the Christmas and New Year period due to scheduled engineering work taking place across the SWR network.
Several separate sets of engineering work will affect journeys through Woking, Vauxhall, Earlsfield, Southampton, Guildford and Ascot with rail replacement buses in operation on routes where the line is closed - and other routes may see a reduced train frequency.
The work planned will make a big difference to the customer experience and will mean greater punctuality and resilience for years to come.
As in previous years, there will also be an earlier close of service on Christmas Eve, no service on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and a Saturday or Sunday timetable will be operating from 20 December to 3 January.
SWR have launched a dedicated webpage that covers key information for anyone using the train services over the festive period. This can be found at: www.southwesternrailway.com/christmas
The Omicron variant is also leading to increasing numbers of staff having to isolate, so further short notice changes to services may be required. We’re sorry for the impact this may have and urge customers to check for late notice changes at www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey
Claire Mann, Managing Director at South Western Railway, said:
“After a difficult 18 months, we know our customers are looking forward to Christmas and the huge range of attractions and events available on our network.
“While the majority of our network will be running as normal over Christmas and New Year, there will be some changes to our timetable. We’d ask our customers planning to travel over the festive period to check the webpage before they head to the station.”
Network Rail Wessex route director Mark Killick said:
“Christmas is a busy time of year for us, as with fewer people travelling by train we have the opportunity to make improvements to the railway we can’t tackle during normal working weeks.
“I know it’s still a pain for people who are travelling and I’d like to say thank you to them for their patience and urge them to check before they travel. We need to maintain and upgrade the railway to keep it running reliably and we work closely with operators to find the least disruptive time to do that work."