Travelling with GWR at Christmas

During 2019 we’ll run more services on key routes and many journey times will be faster. There will be more trains between London and Bristol, more capacity on long distance trains to the South West and the South Coast, and newer trains with more seats will be serving much of our network.

Network Rail is carrying out several projects this Christmas to help us deliver these improvements, so we need to make some changes to the way you travel with us.

Network map showing areas affected

Christmas engineering works Network Map

London and Thames Valley area map

Christmas engineering works London area

What’s happening?

Sunday 23 to Wednesday 26, and Sunday 30 December

Renewal of a junction near Southall

Sunday 23 December to Thursday 3 January

Track renewals near Westbury

Tuesday 25 to Sunday 30 December

Bridge strengthening at Guildford

Tuesday 25 December to Tuesday 1 January

Electrification work through Severn Tunnel Junction station

Summary of dates when lines are affected by upgrade work:

Our travel advice

If you’re planning to get away for Christmas, we recommend you do so by Saturday 22 December.

This is before the rail improvement work starts, so there will be more trains to choose from and your journey won’t be affected by diverted services, additional changes or rail replacement coaches.

Check your return dates carefully, because upgrade work continues on some routes over the whole Christmas period and into the New Year.

On Sunday 30 December all of the upgrade work planned over Christmas will be in progress on this day, so you may want to choose an alternate date to travel instead.

You can also print your own timetable by visiting nationalrail.co.uk/printtimetable.

How will my journey be affected?

Here’s an overview of how our most popular routes will be affected by upgrade work this Christmas.

For specific journey information please use our online journey planners.

Travelling between
and
Dates of travel
Journey information
London 
South Wales
December: Sunday 23, Monday 24
No direct trains to or from London Paddington

Use the limited South Western Railway service between London Waterloo and Reading


GWR trains run every two hours between Reading and stations in South Wales
    December: Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29, Monday 31
January
: Tuesday 1
GWR trains run between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway

Rail replacement coaches between Bristol Parkway and Newport
    December: Sunday 30
No direct trains to or from London Paddington

Use the limited South Western Railway service between London Waterloo and Reading


GWR trains run every two hours between Reading and Bristol Parkway

Rail replacement coaches between Bristol Parkway and Newport
Travelling between
and
Dates of travel
Journey information
London
Bristol and Weston-super-Mare
December: Sunday 23, Monday 24, Sunday 30 
No direct trains to or from London Paddington

Use the limited South Western Railway service between London Waterloo and Reading

GWR trains run every two hours between Reading and Bristol Temple Meads
    December: Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29, Monday 31
January: Tuesday 1
GWR trains will run to an amended timetable
Travelling between
and
Dates of travel
Journey information
London
Devon and Cornwall
December: Sunday 23, Monday 24, Sunday 30
No direct trains to or from London Paddington

Use the limited South Western Railway service between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids


There will be fewer GWR trains than normal between Exeter St Davids and stations in Devon and Cornwall
    December: Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29, Monday 31
January: Tuesday 1
GWR trains will run to an amended timetable
Travelling between
and
Dates of travel
Journey information
London
Oxford and stations to Worcester
December: Sunday 23, Monday 24, Sunday 30 
No direct trains to or from London Paddington

Use Chiltern Railways between London Marylebone and Oxford


There will be fewer GWR trains than normal between Oxford and stations to Worcester Shrub Hill
    December: Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29, Monday 31
GWR trains will run to an amended timetable
Travelling between
and
Dates of travel
Journey information
London
Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa
December: Sunday 23, Monday 24, Sunday 30
No direct trains to or from London Paddington

Use the limited South Western Railway service between London Waterloo and Reading


There will be fewer GWR trains than normal between Reading and Gloucester/Cheltenham Spa
    December: Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29, Monday 31
January: Tuesday 1
GWR trains will run to an amended timetable
Travelling between
and
Dates of travel
Journey information
London Reading December: Sunday 23, Monday 24, Sunday 30 No direct trains to or from London Paddington

Use Metropolitan line underground services between central London and Hillingdon

Rail replacement coaches run from Hillingdon to Slough

There will be fewer GWR trains than normal from Slough to Reading
    December: Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29, Monday 31
January: Tuesday 1
GWR trains will run to an amended timetable
Travelling between
and
Dates of travel
Journey information
Cardiff, Bristol or Bath
Salisbury, Southampton or Portsmouth
December: Sunday 23 to Monday 31
January: Tuesday 1 to Thursday 3
You’ll need to use rail replacement buses between Trowbridge – Westbury – Warminster

Train services between Bristol and Trowbridge, and between Warminster and Portsmouth, will run to an amended timetable
Travelling between
and
Dates of travel
Journey information
Reading Guildford, Redhill or Gatwick Airport December: Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 Trains will terminate at Ash

Change at North Camp for connecting coaches for Guildford, Redhill and Gatwick Airport
Westbury area – Sunday 23 December to Thursday 3 January

Long-distance services between London Paddington and the South West will call at Frome instead of Westbury.

Buses will replace trains between the following stations:

  • Trowbridge and Warminster (via Westbury)
  • Trowbridge and Frome (via Westbury)
  • Westbury and Chippenham (via Melksham)*
  • Westbury and Dilton Marsh
  • Westbury and Pewsey**

* a limited train service will run at peak times between Swindon and Melksham only on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 January

** one bus each way on 27, 28 December and 2, 3 January



Plan your journey

The easiest way to plan your trip from door-to-door.

Departure information

Modernising GWR

More than £7.5 billion is being spent on electrifying routes, new trains, station improvements, and track upgrades.