Britain: Closure on two major train services Dec. 24 to Jan. 4

Holidaymakers are facing travel disruption over the Christmas period as rail links to Britain’s two biggest airports are severed.

Gatwick Express trains will stop running for 10 days due to engineering works, with the last service of 2015 leaving Victoria station at 9.15pm on Christmas Eve and the first services of 2016 scheduled for 4 January.

At Heathrow, the usual one-day closure on Christmas Day will be extended by three days due to Crossrail works. Neither Heathrow Express nor Heathrow Connect trains will run from London Paddington station during the period.

Great Western Railway said services would be disrupted “as part of a large programme of engineering in the Thames Valley needed for the launch of Crossrail in 2019”.

Stephen Joseph, director of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “These engineering works will of course cause huge problems for travelers and I suspect the decision has been taken to inconvenience airline passengers rather than inconvenience commuters.