Skip to content Skip to footer

Please only travel if essential on Sunday 3 December, services are expected to be extremely busy due to industrial action and engineering work affecting other train operators - more information

We are aware of the ASLEF Union's plans for industrial action at CrossCountry on Thursday 7 December, and action short of a strike between Friday 1 to Saturday 9 December – more information

Christmas Travel


Christmas Travel 

During the festive season the railway network gets busier with office parties, Christmas shopping and a visit to the Christmas markets. You can expect to see a highly visible police presence across the rail network. With emphasis on Fridays and Saturdays the British Transport Police will be visible on board trains and at stations dedicated to keeping you safe. We also remind you to be respectful to rail colleagues and to ensure ease of travel and safety on the railway for all of us.

The last train to your station may be extremely busy, so we do advise that you allow extra time for your journey and where possible travel on additional services where provided for a comfortable journey back home.

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thanks for taking us on your journey, from all of us at CrossCountry.


Planning on travelling by train this Christmas?

We want to ensure your journey with us goes as smoothly as possible, here is a list of helpful tips to get you on your way:

  • Download the CrossCountry app - Why not purchase an e-Ticket for your journey through the CrossCountry app? You can download our app here.
  • Book in advance & reserve a seat before you travel - This can also be done through the CrossCountry app.
  • Alert Me by Messenger – Sign up for the National Rail Enquiries Alert Me by Messenger service to be notified if your train or station is expected to be busy. Click here for more information. 

Don’t forget, if your plans change, your booking can too! You can change the time and date of your Advance ticket for free. For more information, please check our FAQs further down this page.

Please note: Between Friday 22 December - Monday 1 January, our peak restrictions will be lifted to give customers greater flexibility.

If you need extra assistance to help you with your journey, we offer our Passenger Assistance service. For more information please visit here.

Over the festive period we expect to see a significant increase in requests for Passenger Assistance. Please book your assistance in advance to ensure you get the help you need.

We have a limited amount of space on our trains to store luggage, so please be considerate of other passengers and only bring what you can comfortably carry. Soft bags and small cases are easier to stow. Pushchairs are welcome on board, please fold before boarding and store with luggage.

On our trains we have storage available:

  • Under the seat in front of you
  • Above every seat in the overhead racks
  • At the end of each coach for large luggage items

Please visit our luggage page for more information.

You can find out all the details on our changes to train times page here.

Please click here to download the PDF map, and view the table below for details on Christmas Travel disruptions from Wednesday 20 December 2023 - Friday 5 January 2024.






Wednesday 20 – Friday 22 December from 2255 to 0620 each night

Tuesday 2 – Friday 5 January from 2255 to 0620 each night


Wednesday 20 – Thursday 21 December. Tuesday 2 – Thursday 4 January:

The 1508 Edinburgh Waverley to Plymouth will terminate at Taunton. Rail replacement road transport will operate from Taunton, Tiverton Parkway and Plymouth.

Thursday 21 – Friday 22 December. Wednesday 3 – Friday 5 January:

The 0524 Plymouth to Edinburgh Waverley will start from Bristol Temple Meads.

B Saturday 23 from 2015 – Sunday 24 December Leeds Most trains will not call at Wakefield Westgate and Leeds. Alternative rail services will operate between Sheffield, Wakefield Westgate, Leeds and York.


Sunday 24 December. Wednesday 27 – Friday 29 December

Southampton Central

Rail Replacement

Rail replacement road transport will operate between Bournemouth, Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway and Eastleigh.


Sunday 24 December from 1840


Rail Replacement

Rail replacement road transport will operate between York and Northallerton.


Wednesday 27 December 2023 – Monday 1 January 2024


Rail Replacement

Wednesday and Thursday. Rail replacement road transport will operate between

  • Ely and Stansted Airport
  • Cambridge and Stansted Airport

Friday - Monday

Rail replacement road transport will operate between Cambridge and Stansted Airport.


Sunday 31 December until 1530


Trains will be retimed a few minutes earlier between Birmingham New Street and Sheffield.


Monday 01 January 2024

Birmingham New Street

Trains will be retimed in the Birmingham New Street area with journey times extended by up to 30 minutes on the following routes:

  • Plymouth – Scotland
  • Cardiff Central – Nottingham
  • Birmingham New Street - Stansted Airport

Manchester Piccadilly – Bournemouth. There will also be a reduction in the frequency of services between Birmingham New Street and:

  • Leicester
  • Nottingham
  • Manchester Piccadilly
  • Reading


Monday 01 January 2024


There will be no CrossCountry services operating north or west of Edinburgh Waverley.


For tickets purchased with CrossCountry using our website, mobile site or CrossCountry app more information on refunds can be found here.

Otherwise, please contact your original retailer.

Delay Repay

Yes, you can if your train is delayed for more than 30 minutes. If this is the case, you will need to apply for compensation through our Delay Repay form which will give you all the information you need to start this process.

We will start to close down train operations from 8pm on 24 and 31 December, and there are no services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Please note: the timetable over the Christmas and New Year period have been confirmed.

To view our advance booking dates please visit our Advance Ticket page here.

When are the quieter times to travel?

We encourage all customers to travel at quieter times if possible. To help you understand the quieter times for travel, please use our tool to see how busy your train is expected to be.

Secure your seat in advance

Book your tickets in advance via our website or the CrossCountry app.

You can reserve your seat in one of the following ways*:

  • When you book your tickets before the day of travel from any train ticket booking outlet.
  • When you book a ticket via the CrossCountry website or app.
  • When you book Passenger Assistance or contact the CrossCountry Customer Relations team via social media at least one day before departure of travel (only when purchasing a ticket or amending an existing booking).

*Subject to availability.

If you are travelling today, you may also want to check the Travel updates page to see if there are any disruptions on your route.

Find out more

We're here to help when you need extra assistance when making your journey.

Find out more
Engineering work

Learn more about the latest major engineering work before you travel.

Find out more

Did you find this page useful?