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Holiday shutdown for airport trains

A major rail link to one of the UK's busiest airports will be shut down over Christmas for engineering work.

There will be no Gatwick Express services between London's Victoria station and Gatwick airport in West Sussex from Boxing Day up to and including New Year's Day.

The shutdown has been caused by the need for essential improvement work between Redhill and Purley in Surrey, as well as by new platform, track and signalling work at Gatwick station.

The closure of Gatwick Express, which provides frequent 30-minute non-stop services between London and the airport, will affect thousands of passengers heading for post-Christmas breaks, including those going on winter sports holidays.

Passengers will still be able to get to Gatwick using services run by the Southern train company, but some of Southern's services will be affected by new signalling work between Victoria and Battersea in south London.

Rail links to another airport - Manchester - will also be disrupted by Christmas engineering works between the airport and Manchester Piccadilly station.

Some First TransPennine Express services between Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly will not run between December 23 and 27, with buses replacing trains.

Full details of nationwide Christmas and new year engineering works are still to be released.

One bit of good news, announced today, is that Chiltern Railways is, for the first time, to run some services on Boxing Day.

Trains will call at Bicester North, Haddenham and Thame Parkway, Princes Risborough, High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, Wembley Stadium and London's Marylebone station

The company has also announced that, on Boxing Day, car park charges at stations will be waived.

Chiltern commercial director Thomas Ableman said: "We know that many people are itching to get out and about on Boxing Day, which is why we're trialling a train service on part of our route this year.

"Marylebone is a stone's throw from Oxford Street and handy for Tube lines so we anticipate that the service will be popular with shoppers keen to snap up a bargain and football fans heading to a match."

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