Christmas Storm: London Public Transport

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 63 months ago
Christmas Storm: London Public Transport

train_241213Wow. We definitely didn't think we'd need to do another public transport update following a storm so soon after St Jude. But here we are again, and this time there's the added complication of it being Christmas Eve, so train services are scheduled to start winding down in the evening anyway. Good luck out there, everyone.

Situation at 12pm:

Metro Trains

  • Southeastern: there's a limited and delayed service on some routes. Check the website for more information.
  • South West Trains: a few services are running from Waterloo but only hourly at best.
  • Chiltern: trains appear to be running with a few delays.
  • Southern: as if the storm wasn't enough, there's been a cable fire near East Croydon so there are no services to Gatwick and Brighton. A few services are running out of Victoria and London Bridge.
  • Greater Anglia: trains in and out of London are running, but with a limited service.
  • c2c: an off-peak timetable is running on all routes.
  • First Capital Connect: services are slowly getting back to normal on some routes. Trains are running to Moorgate and King's Cross (not stopping at Essex Road). Four trains an hour are running between Bedford and Blackfriars but flooding in the Balcombe tunnel means no services south of there.
  • First Great Western: London services are mostly running, but expect delays.
  • London Midland: services out of Euston are operating normally.
  • Gatwick Express: 1.30pm update – services are starting from Victoria, but will initially be a limited service.
  • Stansted Express: looks to be back up and running normally.
  • Heathrow Express: no problems reported.
  • London Overground: there are planned engineering works between Highbury & Islington and Clapham Junction and West Croydon, but apart from that everything's fine.
  • Tube: all running fine.

Remember: the last time services were cancelled for checks on the line many didn't start until the afternoon, or even at all. Canny/paranoid travellers may be best considering alternative methods of transport. While these cancellations may seem excessive, a South West train did hit a tree at Tolworth yesterday so better safe than sorry.

Long Distance Trains

Ticket restrictions are generally lifted, but as always check with the individual operator.

  • First Great Western: high speed services are operating on a reduced timetable. If you have a ticket to travel today you can travel on Friday, which isn't much use if you wanted to be somewhere for Christmas Day.
  • Virgin: a revised timetable is in operation. See website for details.
  • East Coast: there are delays of up to 15 mins between Stevenage and King's Cross but timetabled services will be running.
  • East Midlands: lines are clear and timetabled services are running.


There's been a power issue at Gatwick North terminal causing problems. Also, it's currently impossible to get to the airport by train. If you're flying from Gatwick you will need lots and lots of Christmas cheer.

All airports are operating but check your flight with the airline before setting off.

Photo by Hartwell Photography from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 24 December 2013