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Rail dates

Contents:

(click a title below to go direct to that section)
Consultations
Franchising
Network Rail Control Period 6 planning
Publications
Route improvement works
Various

Consultations

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23 February 2019. Saturday. Close of Hertfordshire County Council's consultation on A414 Corridor Strategy.

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28 February 2019. Thursday. Close of City of London Corporation's consultation on draft City Plan 2036.

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1 March 2019. Friday. Close of West Midlands Railways' consultation on Worcester Foregate station improvements.

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11 March 2019. Monday. Close of EWRCo's initial consultation on routes for East West Rail Central Section, Bedford-Cambridge.

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26 March 2019. Tuesday. Close of Cheshire East Council's consultation on Crewe Station Hub Area Action Plan.

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28 March 2019. Thursday. Close of South Downs National Park Authority's consultation on Main Modifications to Local Plan.
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29 March 2019. Friday. Close of EDF Energy's stage 3 consultation on Sizewell C power station, Suffolk.

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1 May 2019. Wednesday. Close of DfT's consultation on Extending Pay-As-You-Go ticketing.

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19 May 2019. Sunday. Close of DfT's 'call for evidence' on Light Rail - how to better use and implement light rail and other rapid transit solutions in cities and towns.

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31 May 2019. Friday. Close of DfT's 'call for evidence' for Williams Rail Review. Online survey: RailReview

Franchising

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See latest Rail Franchise Schedule, July 2017.

Summary of current re-franchising

South Eastern new franchise was planned from 1 April 2019 - Invitation To Tender issued to the short-listed bidders, for their Best and Final Offers by 14 March. New franchise contract award, expected November 2018, deferred during Westminster Hall debate on 27 November by new Rail Minister Andrew Jones MP to early-2019, confirmed in December 2018 as extension of Direct Award to 22 June 2019. More info: Better journeys for SE rail passengers and Stakeholder briefing document. See also Prospectus.
West Coast Partnership new franchise was planned from 15 September 2019 - Invitation To Tender issued 27 March 2018 to the short-listed bidders, to submit their Best And Final Offers by 13 July 2018. Franchise Agreement published 26 July 2018. New franchise contract award was expected April/May 2019. In December 2018, Transport Secretary exercised option to extend Direct Award for up to 13 (4-week) reporting periods, to March 2019. See also Stakeholder Briefing document.
East Midlands new franchise was planned from 18 August 2019 - Invitation To Tender issued 7 June 2018 to the short-listed bidders, (and see Abellio included) to submit their Best And Final Offers by 5 September 2018. New franchise contract award expected March/April 2019. See also Stakeholder Briefing document. In February 2019, Transport Secretary exercised option to further [https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/east-midlands-rail-franchise-update|extend Direct Award by up to 6 4-week reporting periods], to 2 February 2020.
Great Western new franchise - consultation 29 November 2017 - 21 February 2018. Submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders due June 2018. Stakeholder Briefing Document, and Government response to consultation concluded February 2018 published 28 August 2018. Expressions of Interest due to be invited from bidders.
Cross Country new franchise was due from February 2020 - franchise consultation launched on 7 June, until 30 August 2018. Prospectus launched on 6 July, re-issued 20 September 2018. Submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders; potential bidders invited to submit Expressions of Interest issued on 6 July, re-issued 20 September 2018. Invitation To Tender was due to be issued 24 January 2019 for return in April, followed by contract award in October 2019 for February 2020 start of new franchise. STOP PRESS: refranchising halted 20 September 2018, pending rail review.
InterCity East Coast franchise terminated on 24 June 2018 and replaced with London North Eastern Railway.

February 2019

~ South Eastern new franchise award, expected November 2018, deferred during Westminster Hall debate on 27 November by new Rail Minister Andrew Jones MP to early-2019, confirmed in December 2018 as extension of Direct Award to 22 June 2019. See Invitation To Tender issued to the short-listed bidders, Stakeholder briefing document and Better journeys for SE rail passengers.
~ Great Western new franchise Invitation To Tender expected, following submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders due June 2018, franchise consultation 29 November 2017 - 21 February 2018, and Stakeholder Briefing Document, with Government response to consultation concluded February 2018 published 28 August 2018.

April

East Midlands new franchise contract award was expected. In February 2019, Transport Secretary exercised option to further [https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/east-midlands-rail-franchise-update|extend Direct Award by up to 6 4-week reporting periods], to 2 February 2020. See Invitation To Tender issued 7 June 2018 to the short-listed bidders, (and see Abellio included) to submit their Best And Final Offers by 5 September 2018. See also Stakeholder Briefing document.

June

23 June 2019. Sunday. Southeastern Direct Award due to end; South Eastern new franchise due to commence. See Invitation To Tender issued to the short-listed bidders, Stakeholder briefing document and Better journeys for SE rail passengers.
More info: EoI, franchise consultation, and franchise prospectus.

August

18 August 2019. East Midlands Trains franchise ends; East Midlands new franchise due to commence.

November

~ West Coast Partnership new franchise award expected. See Invitation To Tender issued 27 March 2018 to the short-listed bidders, to submit their Best And Final Offers by 13 July 2018. Franchise Agreement published 26 July 2018. See also Stakeholder Briefing document.
~ Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern new franchise/s - submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders.

December 2019

Great Western new franchise award expected. See Stakeholder Briefing Document, with Government response to consultation concluded February 2018 published 28 August 2018.

February 2020

~ Arriva CrossCountry Direct Award due to end (extension by 4 additional reporting periods from October 2019, further 9 additional reporting periods extension available at Transport Secretary's discretion). STOP PRESS: refranchising halted 20 September 2018, pending rail review.
~ Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern new franchise - notice expected in the Official Journal of the European Union/Expressions of Interest invited from bidders.
~ Chiltern new franchise - submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders.

March

West Coast Partnership new franchise due to commence.

April

Great Western Railway Direct Award due to end (13 additional 'reporting periods' extension assumed); Great Western new franchise due to commence.

May

Chiltern new franchise - notice expected in the Official Journal of the European Union/Expressions of Interest invited from bidders.

July

Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern new franchise - Invitation To Tender expected to be issued to short-listed bidders.

October 2020

Chiltern new franchise - Invitation To Tender expected to be issued to short-listed bidders.

May 2021

New Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern - new franchise operator/s due to be announced.

June

TransPennine Express new franchise - submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders.

August

Chiltern new franchise - contract award expected.

September

~ Govia Thameslink Railway management contract ends (eligible for up to 26 additional 'reporting periods' extension)
~ TransPennine Express new franchise - notice expected in the Official Journal of the European Union/Expressions of Interest invited from bidders.

December 2021

Chiltern Railways franchise due to end (eligible for up to 7 additional 'reporting periods' extension); Chiltern new franchise due to commence.

February 2022

TransPennine Express new franchise Invitation To Tender expected to be issued to short-listed bidders.

April

ScotRail franchise ends (eligible for up to three years extension)

October

South Western new franchise - submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders.

December 2022

New TransPennine Express franchise operator due to be announced.

2023

Access rights for Heathrow Express to London Heathrow Airport Terminals 2/3 and 5 due to expire. 

January

South Western new franchise Expressions of Interest invited from bidders.

April

TransPennine Express franchise ends (eligible for up to 26 additional 'reporting periods' extension)

May

End of 8-year Transport for London concession for Crossrail/Elizabeth line (potential for 2-year extension)/start of next concession.

June

~ Northern new franchise - submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders.
~ South Western new franchise Invitation To Tender expected.

September

Northern new franchise notice expected in the Official Journal of the European Union/Expressions of Interest invited from bidders.

December 2023

East Anglia new franchise - submission of Passport Application/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for non-passport holders.

February 2024

Northern new franchise Invitation To Tender expected to be issued to short-listed bidders.

March

East Anglia new franchise Expressions of Interest invited from bidders.

April

South Western new franchise award expected.

May

End of 7.5-year Transport for London concession for London Overground (potential for 2-year extension)/start of next concession.

August

~ First/MTR South Western franchise due to expire (up to 11 additional reporting periods available at Secretary of State's discretion), new South Western franchise due to commence.
~ East Anglia new franchise Invitation To Tender expected.

December 2024

New Northern franchise operator due to be announced.

April 2025

Northern franchise ends (eligible for up to 13 additional 'reporting periods' extension)

May

Latest possible end/start of Transport for London Crossrail operating concession.

June

New East Anglia franchise operator due to be announced.

October 2025

Greater Anglia franchise ends (eligible for up to 13 additional 'reporting periods' extension at Secretary of State's discretion), new East Anglia franchise due to commence.

May 2026

Latest possible end/start of Transport for London operating concession for London Overground.

2028

Merseyrail concession due for renewal.

November 2029

Essex Thameside franchise ends (eligible for up to 7 additional 'reporting periods' extension at Secretary of State's discretion)

March 2030

Caledonian Sleeper franchise ends.

October 2033

End of Wales & Borders and new South Wales Metro franchise.

Network Rail Control Period 6 planning

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Rail infrastructure investment planning for 2019-24, Control Period 6.
~ ORR issued February 2017 advice to DfT on HLOS and SoFA for Control Period 6 2019-24 (CP6).
~ ORR issued February 2017 guidance to Network Rail on strategic business plans (SBPs) company will produce for CP6 in December 2017.
~ Rail Delivery Group published February 2017 Initial Industry Advice for Control Period 6 (2019-24) to Scottish government and ORR.
~ ORR published April 2017 advice to Transport Scotland on maintenance and renewals expenditure in CP6.
~ ORR published June 2017 conclusions notes on working papers on the outputs framework (WP4) and a close-out report on the enhancements framework (WP5).
~ ORR updates (if necessary) guidance to Network Rail on its strategic business plans, following the DfT's July 2017 High Level Output Specification (HLOS) and initial Statement of Funds Available (SoFA) for CP6, and October 2017 final SoFA.
~ ORR published July 2017 letters to DfT and to Transport Scotland outlining next steps on the HLOS and SoFA process.
~ DfT published July 2017 Guidance to the ORR.
~ ORR issued July 2017 consultation on overall framework for regulating Network Rail - closed 21 September.
~ ORR issued July 2017 Supplementary guidance on Network Rail’s strategic business plan and planning assumptions for England & Wales for CP6.
~ ORR published September 2017 consultation relating to charges and contractual incentives, following June's conclusions from December 2016's consultation.
~ DfT published October 2017 final SoFA for CP6 2019-24; Network Rail's response.
~ Network Rail December 2017 submitted its route and other strategic plans to ORR.
~ ORR published December 2017 an open letter following the January 2017 consultation on the financial framework for PR18.
~ ORR published January 2018 conclusions following July 2017 consultation on the proposed framework for regulating Network Rail’s routes and national system operator (NSO), including incentives and NSO outputs.
~ ORR consultation closed on 18 January 2018 on financial framework for PR18.
~ ORR consultation closed on 25 January 2018 on Working paper 6 The volume incentive and Working paper 7 Collaborative working on the rail network.
~ Network Rail on 9 February 2018 submitted its finalised strategic business plans to ORR (including any updates to the versions provided to ORR on 8 December 2017)
~ Network Rail on 13 February published its Strategic Business Plans. ORR consultation until 6 March.
~ Following on from financial framework for PR18 open letter update in December 2017, after January 2017 consultation, ORR seeks views in early-March 2018 on ‘minded to’ decisions on financial framework issues; consultation closed 27 April.
~ ORR consults on its draft determination for CP6 from 12 June to 31 August 2018. Response from Network Rail, and from the DfT on 23 August.
~ ORR published its final determinations on Network Rail's Strategic Business Plans for Control Period 6 (2019-24) on 31 October for England & Wales and for Scotland.
~ ORR publishes 'Managing Change' Policy on 16 November 2018.
~ ORR consults on Implementing infrastructure cost charges for open access operators. See Future for Open Access.
~ ORR consults on draft Guidance on the Economic Equilibrium Test (for open access operators).
~ More info: Periodic Review 2018 (PR18) timetable and process - V2.0, October 2018.

February 2019


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7 February 2019. Thursday. Final date by which Network Rail decides whether to accept or reject ORR's Final Determination for CP6. More info: Periodic Review 2018 (PR18) timetable and process - V2.0, October 2018.

March


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Latest month in which ORR publishes Network Rail’s revised network licence following completion of statutory consultation, confirms and publishes enforcement policy for CP6, and publishes final version of document ‘Enhancements in control period 6: Roles and responsibilities’. More info: Periodic Review 2018 (PR18) timetable and process - V2.0, October 2018

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15 March 2019. Friday. Latest date by which ORR issues ‘review implementation notices’, confirming that the review will be implemented on 1 April 2019. More info: Periodic Review 2018 (PR18) timetable and process - V2.0, October 2018

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31 March 2019. Delivery Plan for Control Period 6 (2019-24) to be published by this date. More info: Periodic Review 2018 (PR18) timetable and process - V2.0, October 2018

April


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1 April 2019. Monday. Control Period 6 (2019-24) starts. Changes to train operators’ access contracts, including new access charges, and Network Rail’s network licence, take effect.

Publications

January


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23 January 2019. Wednesday. National Rail Passenger Survey results for Autumn 2018 published. More info: NRPS

February


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21 February 2019. Thursday. Passenger & freight rail performance Q3 2018/19 (October-December) published - PPM, CaSL, FDM. More info: ORR

28 February 2019. Thursday. Regional rail usage, 2017/18. More info: ORR

March


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7 March 2019. Thursday. Freight rail usage Q3 2018/19 (October-December) published - freight moved, freight lifted, normalised freight delay. More info: ORR

14 March 2019. Thursday. Passenger rail usage Q3 2018/19 (October-December) published - Passenger train KM, Passenger KM, journeys, revenue. More info: ORR

May


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23 May 2019. Thursday. Passenger & freight rail performance Q4 2018/19 (January-March) published - PPM, CaSL, FDM. More info: ORR

June


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6 June 2019. Thursday. Freight rail usage Q4 2018/19 (January-March) published - freight moved, freight lifted, normalised freight delay. More info: ORR

13 June 2019. Thursday. Passenger rail usage Q4 (January-March) 2018/19 published - Passenger train KM, Passenger KM, journeys, revenue. More info: ORR

September


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19 September 2019. Thursday. Passenger & freight rail performance Q1 2019/20 (April-June) published - PPM, CaSL, FDM. More info: ORR

26 September 2019. Thursday. Freight rail usage Q1 2019/20 (July-September) published - freight moved, freight lifted, normalised freight delay. More info: ORR

October


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3 October 2018. Thursday. Passenger rail usage Q1 2019/20 (April-June) published - Passenger train KM, Passenger KM, journeys, revenue. More info: ORR

December


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Estimates of station usage for 2018/19 published. More info: ORR

5 December 2019. Thursday. Passenger & freight rail performance Q2 2019/20 (July-September) published - PPM, CaSL, FDM. More info: ORR

12 December 2019. Thursday. Passenger rail usage Q2 2019/20 (July-September) published - Passenger train KM, Passenger KM, journeys, revenue. More info: ORR

19 December 2019. Thursday. Freight rail usage Q2 2019/20 (July-September) published - freight moved, freight lifted, normalised freight delay. More info: ORR

Route improvement works

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Major improvement works in 2019, but why do it at weekends and over bank holidays?
Mind how you go, or you'll NOT enjoy your 'trip': watch THIS!
~ 6 January 2018 onwards - Great North Rail Project works affect variety of services, continuing across Easter 2018 and beyond. Enjoy the highlights; buy the book.
~ continuing in 2018/19 - Edinburgh Waverley has fewer platforms as three extended, from mid-December new platform 12 in service, platform improvement works continue, while charities are kept in the picture and the Story continues. Come July and things are beginning to escalate in Edinburgh, and festivals see passenger numbers escalating!
~ until February 2019 - redevelopment of Livingston South largely complete by December, commissioning of lifts in February.
~ 6 July 2018 onwards - major improvements to Hebden Bridge station. Accessibility work begins Friday 10 August.
~ 21 July 2018 onwards - changed entry and exit arrangements at Glasgow Queen Street station. Fit for a Queen Street, thanks to local artist. Demolition work complete. December's Big lift!
~ 25-27 August 2018 onwards - after services suspended on Great Eastern Main Line over bank holiday weekend for track upgrade between Manningtree and Witham, also for ongoing work to install passing loop near Trimley between Ipswich and Felixstowe, and to renew track between Colchester and Ingatestone.
~ from October 2018 - level crossing upgrades final installations and testing at Dingwall, now nearing completion.
~ 8 October 2018 onwards - accessibility improvements to Headingley station.
~ until March 2019 - station upgrade works at Barnetby with platform alterations.
~ until 31 March 2019 - station accessibility works at Scunthorpe.
~ until 29/30 June 2019 - weekend services altered/suspended to/from Southend Victoria now to a revised programme ending March 2020 not May 2020.
~ until June 2019 - service suspensions and alterations for platform upgrade works on Merseyrail network.
~ 10-16 February - services suspended between Derby and Matlock for replacement of Ambergate Junction. REMINDER-1 and REMINDER-2.
~ 16-24 February - Brighton Main Line services suspended between Three Bridges and Brighton/Lewes via Haywards Heath for BML Improvement Project. More info: Brighton Main Line Improvement Project. You have been WARNED! FINAL REMINDER!
~ 16/17 February - services suspended between Kettering and Leicester.
~ 16/17, 23/24 February - services suspended at Crewe and Wilmslow and diverted between Crewe and Manchester via Stoke-on-Trent for bridge replacement in Crewe. REMINDER-1, and REMINDER-2.
~ 17 February - services suspended between Blackpool and Preston for drainage works.
~ 17, 24 February, 3, 10, 17 March - services suspended between Aberdeen and Dundee. REMINDER.
~ 17, 24 February, 16/17 March - services suspended between Newtown and Machynlleth for track replacement works.
~ 17 February - services suspended in south Wales between Cardiff Central and Bristol Parkway, Cwmbran, Ebbw Vale Town, and Severn Tunnel Junction.
~ 23/24 February - services suspended between Market Harborough and Leicester.
~ until 5 May - weekend part-suspensions of Brighton Main Line services for Brighton Main Line Improvement Project. More info: BML Improvement Project and Project in focus. Awareness campaign for weekend closures affecting Brighton Main Line south of Three Bridges to Brighton and to Lewes via Haywards Heath. You have been WARNED!
~ 2/3 March - services suspended between Cardiff and Llanelli for signalling upgrade.
~ 2/3, 10 March - services suspended between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth and between Machynlleth and Pwllhelli for track replacement works.
~ 7-10 March - Sussex East Coastway services suspended between Eastbourne and Brighton/Haywards Heath/Seaford via Lewes for completion of resignalling upgrade.
~ 9 March - services suspended between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth for track replacement works.
~ 9/10, 16/17 March - services suspended between Blackpool South and Kirkham & Wesham for bridge replacement works.
~ 9-11, 16-18 March - services suspended between Manchester and Liverpool via Warrington for bridge works.
~ 23/24 March - services amended in the Cardiff area.
~ 31 March - services suspended between Newport and Bridgend (including Cardiff Central).
~ 19-22 April - services amended between Bristol Parkway and Newport.
~ 27/28 April - services amended between Bristol Parkway and Newport.
~ 20 May - Opening of new Lea Valley line station at Meridian Water, replacing Angel Road. More info: LV-MW
~ 28 May-2 June - Midland Main Line services suspended between Leicester and Kettering: major works at Market Harborough.

Various


April


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5-18 April 2019. Friday-Thursday. House of Commons in recess.

May


2 May 2019. Thursday. UK Local elections. More info: Vote 2019

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19 May 2019. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

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19 May 2019. Sunday. Penultimate phase of Thameslink Programme timetable implementation. All but two Thameslink services linked across and running through central London core to provide continuous journeys between north and south, as final infrastructure upgrades completed and full benefits of Thameslink Programme being realised.

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20 May 2019. Monday. Opening of new Lea Valley line station at Meridian Water, replacing Angel Road. More info: LV-MW

December


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8 December 2019. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

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8 December 2019. Sunday. Opening of new half-hourly Lea Valley line service between Meridian Water and Stratford via Tottenham Hale. More info: LV-MW

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8 December 2019. Sunday. Completion of final phase of Thameslink Programme timetable implementation. All Thameslink services planned to be linked across and running through central London core to provide continuous journeys between north and south, as all final infrastructure upgrades completed and full benefits of Thameslink Programme realised.

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31 December 2019. Final date for rail vehicles to comply with accessibility regulations. More info: ORR and DfT

2020


May


7 May 2020. Thursday. UK local elections.

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17 May 2020. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


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13 December 2020. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

2021


May


6 May 2021. Thursday. UK local elections.

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16 May 2021. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

November


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Start of extended services on Northern line to Battersea Power Station, via Kennington and Nine Elms. More info: NLE

December


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12 December 2021. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

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12 December 2021. Sunday. Services planned to start between Gospel Oak and Barking Riverside.

2022


May


5 May 2022. Thursday. UK General and local elections.

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15 May 2022. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


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11 December 2022. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

2023


May


4 May 2023. Thursday. UK local elections.

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21 May 2023. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


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10 December 2023. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

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10 December 2023. Sunday. East West Rail services start between Bedford and Oxford (and possibly Reading). More info: EWR

2024


April


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1 April 2024. Control Period 7 (2024-29) starts.

May


2 May 2024. Thursday. UK local elections.

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19 May 2024. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


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8 December 2024. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

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8 December 2024. Sunday. East West Rail services start between Milton Keynes and Oxford/Reading, and Milton Keynes and Aylesbury/London Marylebone. More info: EWR

2025


May


1 May 2025. Thursday. UK local elections.

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18 May 2025. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


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14 December 2025. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

2026


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Public operation of HS2 phase 1 planned to start this year.

May


7 May 2026. Thursday. UK local elections.

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17 May 2026. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

December


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13 December 2026. Sunday. National rail timetable change.

2029


April


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1 April 2029. Control Period 8 (2029-34) starts.



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