Chiltern’s Boxing Day promotion

Chiltern Railways is running trains on Boxing Day, unlike most other operators who have left rail passengers in the lurch.

It proves yet again that Chiltern is one of the best and most responsive train operators in Britain.

Chiltern announced it is running trains from 08.00 to 20.00 between Oxford Parkway and London Marylebone. The trains will serve Bicester Village which is very popular with foreign tourists.

“Although it is unusual for the railway to be open on Boxing Day, we have found this service to be very popular with our customers,” said Eleni Jordan, commercial director at Chiltern Railways.

“We are delighted once again to offer this and give our customers another reason to leave the car behind and visit some of the amazing attractions on our route.” 

Only five of the other 20 train operators are running trains on Boxing Day.

Southeastern will operate trains on the high-speed line between London St Pancras and Ashford in Kent. Trains will run every 30 minutes between Ashford International and London St Pancras with the first train from Ashford at 07.43  and the first train from London St Pancras at 08.40. The last train from Ashford is 19.13 and the last train from London St Pancras is 20.10.

Southern said it is operating some trains between London Bridge and Brighton, London Bridge and Gatwick Airport, London Bridge and Sutton via Selhurst and West Croydon, as well as London Bridge and East Croydon calling at Norwood Junction.

Stansted Express will run trains only from Tottenham Hale to Stansted Airport.

Scotrail is also running trains on some routes from 09.00.

Labour MP John Grogan has intervened on behalf of rail passengers.

The MP for Keighley and Ilkley said: “It really is ridiculous that people cannot get around on Boxing Day to sporting events, see family and spend money in the shops.”

“Regular services in the rest of Europe run throughout the Christmas holidays and it is really disappointing that we cannot get the same commitment in this country, despite all the promises.”

He has tabled an early day House of Commons motion criticising the shutdown. But the Government is unlikely to take any notice. It has ignored protests about high rail fares and road pollution while continuing to freeze fuel duty for car drivers. It has reneged on earlier promises to provide more train services on Boxing Day.

Northern Rail was expected to run at least 60 trains on Boxing Day according to its agreement with the Government. It is running none.

Transpennine Express carried out a public consultation but ignored passengers who called for Boxing Day trains, and will run none.

Merseyrail, which ran a service last year, will run none this year.