One Christmas tradition that survives Covid – buses replace trains on lines to London!

Network Rail engineers will be back at work at Colchester station over the Christmas and New Year period. Picture: NETWORK...

Network Rail engineers will be back at work at Colchester station over the Christmas and New Year period. Picture: NETWORK RAIL - Credit: Archant

Rail passengers travelling between Ipswich and London over part of the Christmas holidays will be served by a fast coach service to Stansted Airport because of engineering work on the main line.

The coaches will link into the Stansted Express services to Liverpool Street to give a link into the capital on December 27 and 28 and from January 1 to 3. Between December 29 and 31 the main line should be partially open – but buses will replace trains between Ipswich and Marks Tey because of major track work at Colchester.

MORE: Network Rail carrying out weekend work until Easter

There will be no trains to London from stations in Essex on December 27 and 28 or over the New Year weekend – buses will take passengers to Newbury Park tube station or other destinations in Essex.

Full details of all the changes on the main line are published on Greater Anglia’s website – but the company expects the number of passengers to be substantially down on previous years because of the restrictions on travel that are still in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Passengers are urged to book tickets in advance where possible and to check with the website for the less busy times to travel in a bid to ensure they are able to maintain social distancing.

The picture on regional routes is better – although there is major work taking place on the lines from Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth to Norwich which will mean their services will be replaced by buses on December 27 and 28 and on January 1.

There are no trains on any routes on Christmas Day and only a limited number of Stansted Express trains on Boxing Day.

MORE: Rail bosses in safety pledge

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director said, “Rail staff across the network will be here to help passengers travel with confidence over Christmas, getting them to their destinations safely and reliably.

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“They will be doing everything possible to keep travellers safe, including cleaning and sanitising trains and regularly disinfecting high contact areas. Our passenger numbers are still much lower than usual and in addition, we have new longer trains running on many of our routes which will help too.

“However, as usual, there are some changes to services over the festive period, so we encourage everyone to check before they travel, so their journeys can go smoothly and as expected.

“I would like to thank my colleagues and our passengers for their support during a very challenging year and wish them all a peaceful and happy festive season.”

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