Train passengers urged to complete Christmas Eve journeys by lunchtime

Train passengers planning Christmas Eve trips are being told to complete journeys as early as lunchtime due to strikes.

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Operators are warning passengers that the rail network will shut down early due to a walkout by thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail.

The industrial action is from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27.

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When the strike was announced, the RMT said it will “only affect engineering work and not train services”.

But several operators have issued alerts to passengers warning of disruption.

Services run by train companies are usually exceptionally busy on the afternoon and early evening of Christmas Eve.

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But Avanti West Coast’s last trains will be as early as 10.40am from Glasgow to London Euston and 12.34pm from London Euston to Liverpool.

Great Western Railway is urging customers to only travel on Christmas Eve if it is “absolutely necessary”.

Those planning to travel are being told to book a seat for a specific service and “complete their journeys by lunchtime”.

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South Western Railway said its services will “shut down at 3pm”, with last trains departing as early as noon.

It told passengers to “only travel if absolutely necessary.” The RAC said disruption to rail services may lead to an even bigger spike in traffic on Britain’s roads on Christmas Eve as millions of people make getaway journeys.

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