Heathrow Airport cut off from train and tube network in Boxing Day travel misery

Heathrow Airport will be cut off from the rail and underground rail network for two days during construction during the holidays.

Network Rail said it is doing signal, track and HS2 work between Paddington and Slough on Boxing Day and Boxing Day, meaning no trains can service Heathrow. Meanwhile, TfL is suspending the Piccadilly line between Heathrow and Acton Town for seven days from Christmas Eve.

The combination of the work being done by Network Rail and TfL means there will be no rail or tube services to or from the UK’s busiest airport on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Public transport across the UK traditionally closes on Christmas Day, but services to and from Heathrow usually operate on Boxing Day, one of the airport’s busiest days of the year.

Mike Gallop, Western Route and Strategic Operations Director, Network Rail, said, “We strive to provide safe and reliable train service to the tens of thousands of passengers who circulate in Paddington every day.

“We have to spend 52 hours removing aging and unreliable signaling devices and replacing them with modern and reliable replacement devices.

“The best time for this is always when very few people travel. Since there are no trains on Christmas Day and very few trains on Boxing Day, the choice of these days makes a lot of sense.

“Four years in the planning and with good coordination and planning with TfL, a high-quality and fast bus replacement will bring passengers directly from central London to Heathrow.”

A TfL spokesman said: “The holidays are one of the quietest times of the year for public transport and performing this vital work on the Piccadilly Line during this time will keep disruption to a minimum.

“We want to reassure our customers that there will be alternative travel options with replacement buses that run non-stop between Hammersmith and Heathrow.”

He added, “We have worked with Network Rail on the comprehensive alternative transportation plan and also with Heathrow Airport to ensure they can assist customers with round-trip flights on Boxing Day.”

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of Watchdog Transport Focus, said, “For passengers traveling over Christmas, engineering is the last thing they want to hear about.

“While the investment projects are welcome and will avoid most disruptions to their travel, the closure of major rail and underground lines to Heathrow on Boxing Day will still be a major headache for some. It is crucial that Network Rail is now working with all relevant transport and tour operators to help those affected and to take a proactive approach to contacting those who have already booked trips. “

Other routes affected by Network Rail’s engineering work during the holidays include:

– Southerns Gatwick Airport trains will run to and from London Bridge instead of London Victoria between Christmas and January 3rd.

– Leeds will have a discounted service between December 27th and January 3rd, including a “very limited” service on January 2nd.

– No connections between London King’s Cross and Finsbury Park on Boxing Day or Boxing Day.

Heathrow Airport cut off from train and tube network in Boxing Day travel misery 1

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– CrossCountry trains will not operate on Bristol Parkway between December 27th and 31st. Some Great Western Railway connections to and from Bristol Temple Meads will also be affected.

Passengers can inquire through their rail operator or National Rail Inquirys whether their journeys are affected.

Network Rail said the 370 engineering projects it will undertake over Christmas have been planned “months, in some cases years, in advance.”

It added that more than 95% of the UK’s rail network will remain open.

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