One of the capital’s major termini will close for six days between Christmas and the New Year.
The closure of London King’s Cross station is owing to engineering work which had been planned for a long time.
It was not expected to cause too many issues this year seeing as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations have been cancelled.
However there will be problems because December 27 is the final day of the UK’s agreed “Christmas Bubbles” before tiered lockdowns return, as well as being the first day of rail services after the usual shutdown on Christmas and Boxing Day.
Rail travellers returning home to the North of England and Scotland will have to rely on East Midlands Railway (EMR) from adjacent St Pancras or Avanti West Coast from nearby Euston.
Mainline companies affected are LNER along with open access operators Grand Central and Hull Trains.
LNER’s MD David Horne has tweeted to say that extra trains will be operating and that peak travel restrictions are lifted December 23 to January 3.
Tickets now available for Christmas – book early on https://t.co/QDCPSfDgv5. Remember:
⛔️Engineering works Dec 24-Jan 3 https://t.co/CA9ya46IRy
😷Limited capacity to allow for social distancing
🚅More services run before Christmas
🎅🏻Peak ticket restrictions lifted Dec 23-Jan 3 https://t.co/sqK7YKhvAv
— David Horne (@DavidHorne) November 29, 2020
We can also confirm that Grand Central will restart its services from December 3. These had been suspended during the latest lockdown.
However because part of its network lies within Tier 3, Grand Central will be offering a modified schedule.
Really looking forward to seeing you back on board from December 3. Just a reminder that, for now, our services are reservation only. Don't miss out, book your socially-distanced journey here https://t.co/CAa9w1XKer and #TravelWithConfidence pic.twitter.com/0klc1IhuUa
— Grand Central Rail (@GC_Rail) November 26, 2020
In a statement provided to Business Traveller, Grand Central said:
“We strongly advise that passengers check their local Covid Tier Levels before booking. Grand Central will continuously monitor the restrictions as they evolve and will reflect any changes to local restrictions in our ticket policies and customer communications.”
Readers are recommended to check schedules and the reservation policies with EMR and Avanti West Coast.
Meanwhile Hull Trains has now announced it will restart Hull-London services from December 3.
✅ Plan your Christmas travel carefully as King's Cross will be closed for 6 days (December 25th-30th)
✅ There will be no Hull Trains services between December 25th & December 30th
✅ Amended timetables will operate on December 24th, 31st and January 1st.
— Hull Trains (@Hull_Trains) November 27, 2020
It stresses that there will be alterations and schedule cancellations on various dates.
Please also note that both Grand Central and LNER require mandatory reservations.