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‘Plan ahead’ warns GWR, as engineering work will affect Christmas trains: Preparatory works to start this weekend

Those hoping for a late Christmas getaway are being warned to plan ahead by GWR, as engineering work is set to impact train services. 

Work on HS2 is already well underway to deliver trains to Old Oak Common; as part of this preparatory works will be undertaken by Network Rail for new signalling and track equipment near to London Paddington, meaning no trains will operate from the staton on Sunday 24 and Wednesday 27 December. Services are not scheduled to operate on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. 

Train services to/from London Paddington will also be impacted this Sunday 26 November as preparatory work is undertaken: 

  • Most GWR services start or terminate at Reading instead of London Paddington 
  • Limited train services to or from Slough until midday, and then Ealing Broadway 

Those who need to travel on 24 or 27 December are being advised to allow plenty of time to reach their destination as journey times will be significantly longer than normal. 

Customers looking to travel on either of these days should consider travelling on alternative dates for a more comfortable journey. 

Dean Haynes, GWR’s Station Manager for London Paddington, said: 

“As we continue to invest in our railway, we will only be able to run trains to and from Reading and Ealing Broadway this Sunday and on 24 and 27 of December. 

“To keep you moving, we have been working with other train companies to provide alternative routes. However, if you can travel on the days before or after, you should consider doing so because journeys will take much longer while the work takes place.”  

Where will trains run? 

  • Most GWR services will start or terminate at Reading instead of London Paddington 
  • Limited train services to/from Ealing Broadway 

Joanna Grew, Network Rail’s Industry Programme Director, said: 

“Over the Christmas period, from Sunday 24 to Wednesday 27 December, we will be carrying out essential preparatory drainage and railway infrastructure works as part of the construction of HS2’s new station at Old Oak Common near London Paddington. 

“As part of this preparation, we also need to close the railway into Paddington on Sunday 26 November where we will also be completing essential railway works between Slough and Paddington which will enable a more reliable railway. 

“We appreciate there is never a good time to disrupt journeys but whenever possible we do this at times when fewer people are travelling, such as at Christmas, on bank holidays or at weekends. 

 “We thank passengers in advance for their patience and urge them to please check before they travel.” 

Customers travelling to or from central London can do so using London Underground’s District or Central line services at Ealing Broadway. The Elizabeth Line will not operate. 

Alternatively, GWR tickets can be used with South Western Railway between Reading and London Waterloo, or on Chiltern Railways between Oxford and London Marylebone instead. 

Elsewhere in the GWR network, no train services will be able to stop at Southampton Central on Sunday 24 December, or from Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 December. 

For the latest information, visit

HS2 is Britain’s new high speed, net zero carbon railway, with work well advanced on the new line from London to the West Midlands. For more information, visit the HS2 website.  


Contact Information

James Davis

Media Relations Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

Notes to editors

Notes to editors 

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: