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The holiday season is a magical time filled with festive cheer, twinkling lights, and the warmth of spending time with loved ones. If you're planning to travel over Christmas, opting for a train journey can be a charming and stress-free way to reach your destination. 

To make your Yuletide travels even more enjoyable, consider these tips for navigating the rails during the festive season.

Buy tickets

Book tickets in advance

Christmas is a busy travel period, especially if you’re travelling by train, so consider booking your train tickets well in advance to secure the best prices and ensure availability. You can save up to 65% when you buy tickets in advance

Consider travelling during off-peak hours if your plans allow, as trains are generally less crowded during these times and it can make the journey more comfortable.

Check the train schedule

If you're planning to take the train over the Christmas and New Year period, please plan ahead and check before you travel.

There will likely be changes to train services across the rail network over the holiday season. Please check our disruptions page to keep up to date with any changes.

Also, be aware of any changes to the regular train schedule during the Christmas period. It’s worth considering that Northern has a winter timetable which comes into effect on the 10th of December. 

If you’re travelling by train on Christmas Eve, Northern trains will be running until around 2100 and no trains will be running on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Use online platforms or our app to check real-time updates on train schedules and any potential disruptions.

Pack light & allow extra time

Travelling light makes navigating through busy stations and boarding trains much easier, especially during peak travel times during the festive period. If you're bringing gifts, consider packing them in a way that makes them easy to carry and store, as luggage racks will likely fill up quickly. 

Give yourself extra time to reach the train station, considering potential traffic, weather conditions, or any unexpected delays. Arriving early, grab a coffee and get to your platform without having to rush!

Be prepared for crowds

Christmas is a popular time for travel, so train stations and carriages may be busier than usual. Try to be patient, follow station and train crew instructions, and consider travelling during off-peak hours using off-peak tickets if you prefer a more relaxed journey.

Stay informed

Stay informed about any disruptions, delays, or changes to your journey by checking for updates on our websites or by using our dedicated app

Stay comfortable

Winter weather often means that trains can be quite warm to cater for all passengers. Dress appropriately for the weather, as you may need to wait on platforms or walk between train stations, but consider easy-to-remove clothing so that you can be comfortable on the train too. 

Enjoy the festive atmosphere

Embrace the holiday spirit! Many train stations decorate for Christmas, and you might encounter carol singers or festive activities during your journey. Train stations are wonderful places for people-watching where families are brought together to celebrate Christmas together, it can be a lovely sight to see!

Plan for connections

If your journey involves multiple trains or connections, make sure you plan for sufficient time between services to account for any delays or for travelling around busy stations.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your Christmas train journey and enjoy a stress-free and festive travel experience. Don’t forget to buy your train tickets in advance online or using our app.

Northern App

Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.

Northern App

Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.