Which Trains, Tubes And Buses Will Be Running In London Over Christmas 2019?

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 19 months ago

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

Which Trains, Tubes And Buses Will Be Running In London Over Christmas 2019?
Photo: Shutterstock

Need to travel into, around, or out of London over Christmas? Need to know which public transport is running between Christmas and New Year? Do London buses run on Christmas Day? Find out all you need to know about transport in London over Christmas below.

Does the tube run on Christmas Day? TfL services over Christmas

As usual, no TfL services run on Christmas Day. That's buses, tubes, trains, Overground, DLR, river boats, the works. Some transport will also finish early on Christmas Eve, so don't get caught out by that. On the plus side, Santander Cycles are still available to hire. Here are the rest of the details as to what's closed between Christmas and New Year (keep an eye on TfL's Christmas page for updates as they're announced):

LONDON UNDERGROUND: Christmas details are still being finalised. Check the TfL website for details (despite the website currently showing as 'No scheduled closures' on Christmas Day' we suspect the opposite to be true, and TfL does say that there will be service changes and planned works). The tube is usually free in the early hours on New Year's Day but that hasn't yet been announced this year.

LONDON OVERGROUND: No service on Christmas Day, but (certain) services will run on Boxing Day this year, for the first time. We'd expect a normal service for most of the rest of the Christmas break, but it's still being finalised by TfL. Check the TfL website for details




BUSES: We hope that beyond Christmas Day itself, there won't be too much change to bus services, but TBC.


See the TfL Christmas travel page for more information and updates.

Do London buses run on Christmas Day?

No, they do not. No TfL services run on Christmas Day, although Santander Cycles are still available to hire. On yer bike!

Which trains are running to/from London over Christmas?

Photo: Shutterstock

SOUTHERN: Reduced service from 7pm on Christmas Eve. No service on Christmas Day. Very limited service Boxing Day, and reduced service on 27 December. Normal timetable 28-31 December. Reduced timetable on 1 January. Full details on Southern Railway website.

THAMESLINK: Off-peak service from 1pm on Christmas Eve. No service on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Revised timetable on 27, 30 and 31 December. Normal timetable 28 and 29 December. Sunday service on 1 January. Full details on Thameslink website.

SOUTHEASTERN: No service 25 or 26 December. Bus replacement beyond Ashford International on 27-29 December. Alterations on the Bexleyheath and Sole Street lines on 29 December due to engineering work at Denmark Hill. Replacement buses between Lewisham, Orpington, Dartford and Sidcup, and beyond Sevenoaks, on 1 January. Full details on Southeastern website.

GREATER ANGLIA: Lots to contend with here — alterations on almost every route most days over Christmas. All services finish early on Christmas Eve. No service on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Engineering work between Stratford and Shenfield, and Hackney Downs and Colchester means major alterations on all routes on 27-31 December. Sunday-style service on 1 January. Full details on Greater Anglia website.

Image: Shutterstock

SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY: Well, there's the 27-day strike to contend with, which has reduced service across the entire network. So leave plenty of extra time for travel and expect overcrowding on services.

Beyond that, expect services into Waterloo throughout the festive period, as people use it as an alternative to Paddington, which is closed (see below). No service 25-26 December. Saturday timetable on 27 December (and some early morning services may be late starting). Closures in the Guildford area between 27 and 30 December. Some lines between Waterloo and Clapham Junction are closed for the first part of 29 December, so expect a reduced service. Saturday timetable on 31 December, continuing into early morning trains running to get people home from New Year's Eve in London (details TBC). Sunday timetable on 1 January. Full details on Southwestern Railway website.

GREAT WESTERN: At time of writing, details haven't been finalised, although we do know that there's significant disruption into and out of Paddington due to engineering work at Slough (see below). Keep an eye on the Great Western Railway website for updates.

LNER: LNER is warning people to book ahead for Christmas as things get very busy. Services start to shut down from about 6.30pm on Christmas Eve. No trains in or out of King's Cross on 25 and 26 December, and the service starts later than usual on 27 December. No word yet on what's going on 28-30 December, but there will be an early shut down on 31 December and a late start on 1 January. Full details and updates on LNER website.

VIRGIN WEST COAST/FIRST TRENITALIA: As of 8 December, Virgin West Coast is no more, its franchise taken over by First Trenitalia, but customers are advised that services will continue as normal, and tickets and reservations will still be valid. That said, details are sketchy at the moment — keep an eye on the website for updates.

EAST MIDLANDS: East Midlands Railway covers vast swathes of the country, including St Pancras, but the main things you need to know for London are: services finish earlier than usual on Christmas Eve. No service Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Reduced service between Bedford and St Pancras on 28 and 29 December, and buses replace some services into and out of St Pancras between 27 December and 4 January. Full details on the East Midlands Railway website.

EUROSTAR: If you're hopping on a Eurostar train out of London, chances are you're travelling further than Ashford International in Kent. But if Ashford is your intended destination, note that no Eurostar services stop there on 27, 28 and 29 December. (Southeastern services also can't stop at the station on these dates — see above).


Which London railway stations are closed over Christmas?

Paddington is a no-go. Photo: Shutterstock

KING'S CROSS: There are no trains to or from London King's Cross on Wednesday 25 or Thursday 26 December. On Friday 27 December, service begins slowly, with a reduced service until 1pm.

PADDINGTON: No trains to or from Paddington between 24 and 27 December (so bear that in mind if you're planning to use the station on Christmas Eve). There's also a reduced timetable between 28 and 31 December, all due to engineering work between Paddington and Slough.

How do I get to the airport at Christmas?

Photo: Shutterstock

Jetting off, eh? Lucky you. Here's how to get to/from London's airports between Christmas and New Year.

HEATHROW: As above, we're waiting to see what's happening with the Piccadilly line and TfL Rail services (no pressure, TfL). Heathrow Express isn't a great option though — there are no services in either direction, 24-28 December. 29 December looks to be a normal service, then it's a half-hourly service on 30 and 31 December. Full details on Heathrow Express website.

GATWICK:  Reduced Gatwick Express service from 1pm on 24 December. No service 25 December. Two trains per hour on 26 December. Revised timetable 27, 28, 30 and 31 December and 1 January. Normal service 29 December. Full details on Gatwick Express website.

CITY AIRPORT: The DLR is your best option for getting to City Airport which is a TfL service — keep an eye on the TfL Christmas page.

Last Updated 06 December 2019

Continued below.