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Engineering Works Over Christmas Will Affect Rail Travel

Published on: 18 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 21 Dec, 2021

South Western Railway (SWR) is asking passengers to plan ahead over the Christmas and new year period due to engineering work taking place across its network.

This will affect journeys through Guildford, Woking, Acot, Vauxhall, Earlsfield and Southampton.

Rail replacement buses will be in operation on routes where the line is closed. Other routes may see a reduced service.

South Western Railway Christmas 2021 rail guide. Click to enlarge in a new window.

SWR says the work will make a big difference to future customer experience with “greater punctuality and resilience for years to come”.

Rail services will close earlier on Christmas Eve and there will be no service on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. A Saturday or Sunday timetable will be operating from December 20 to January 3.

SWR’s webpage ( provides information for its passengers over the festive period.

SWR has warned there may be short-notice changes to services as “the Omicron variant is also leading to increasing numbers of staff having to isolate”. Passengers are asked to check for changes at

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.”

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Responses to Engineering Works Over Christmas Will Affect Rail Travel

  1. Keith Francis Reply

    December 20, 2021 at 1:04 am

    Safety on the railway is paramount and how many of the objectors, who negatively completed the South Western Railway’s Timetable Survey, don’t use the trains? Before you complete anything like that proof you are a user should be supplied and are not just completing it for the hell of it.

    I come from a non-car owning family so to visit our relations in Farncombe on Boxing Day we used a bus to Guildford from where we lived south of Woking and then either a train or bus to complete the journey.

    I see that yet again my local railway station is on the list to be closed for one Sunday for “Rail Improvement Works” with a Rail Replacement Bus Service running and this is after many weekends of National Rail working to re-furbish and re-paint the station and its footbridge. The work over-ran. Proof as to why Network Rail’s passengers have to plan ahead.

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