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East Midlands rail passengers warned to only travel by train if necessary

Rail passengers in the East Midlands are being warned to expect disruption and to only travel by train if it’s absolutely necessary this December as unions stage industrial action.  

On 13, 14, 16 and 17 December, a reduced service is planned to run across the East Midlands between 7.30 am and 6.30 pm.

On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December, engineering work as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade will close all lines through Market Harborough, affecting services between Kettering and Leicester.

Some strike action planned for Christmas Eve was cancelled this week but the late notice, combined with continuing action by other unions and essential planned engineering work means that on 24 December a very limited service will run, journeys will take longer and passengers need to set off much earlier to make sure they can reach their destination before services stop.

On 24 December:

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  • East Midlands Railway have additional action by Unite the Union and will not operate any trains
  • Thameslink trains will run but the last trains are departing at around midday on many routes
  • CrossCountry will operate a significantly reduced service and passengers need to set off early

The railway will be closed as usual on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and the southern end of the Midland Main Line will open later than usual (9am) on Tuesday 27 December.

Train operators in the East Midlands are also affected by industrial action which will reduce services between Sunday 18 December and Monday 2 January and further action is planned across the industry on 3, 4, 6 and 7 January.

Passengers should check for the latest information:

During this period, services that do run are likely to be extremely busy and subject to last-minute cancellations. Passengers are being urged to expect severe disruption, including short-notice changes and cancellations.

Gary Walsh, East Midlands Route Director for Network Rail said: “We’re really sorry that passengers are facing such significant disruption in the run-up to Christmas and into the new year.

“We’re only able to run a very limited train service so unfortunately, we’re asking passengers to plan other ways to travel if they can.

“Services that do run are likely to be much busier and may be cancelled at short notice. To avoid disappointment please check before you travel and know the time of your last train home.”

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