Trains and holidays

Travel Forums Europe Trains and holidays

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1. Posted by mschulen11 (Budding Member 8 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Looking to hear from personal experiences...flying into London and taking the chunnel to Brussels. Do the rail companies run on a light schedule during christmas eve and christmas day? I'll be arriving in London on the 24th and traveling the same day to Brussels. Any insight is welcome...thanks


2. Posted by georgep (Respected Member 201 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi Mike,

I don't know but if you go by train then look at this site they will be able to help you.

George "We travel the world for you"

3. Posted by davidx (Respected Member 34 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Sorry, I have no experience of this.
Cheers, David

4. Posted by mschulen11 (Budding Member 8 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Thanks...I've contacted Eurostar but they work on a 90 day advanced booking period. Since this is the case, the schedule for the holiday will not be out till the 26th of this month. So....if anyone in the past has traveled during Christmas please drop me a line. I've emailed Eurostar to ask what the previous years schedules have been.


5. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Things to bear in mind.

1. Continental Europe tend to celebrate Xmas on the evening of the 24th, so late travel on the 24th can be harder, and many overnight trains don't run. But it's still normally possible to do most journeys

2. UK celebrates on the 25th. Essentially, NOTHING runs. A very few special buses/coach/airport links and that's it (excepting flights). If you get delayed and stuck in the uk on the 25th, you ain't going far. the 26th (Boxing Day) is similar in the UK, with very few buses/trains. On the 24th, last trains tend to be earlier although still into the early to mid evening on main routes.

In most of rest of Europe, 25th is either a normal or slightly reduced schedule. In some countries it's the busiest day of the year to travel as all go to their parents. Don't know about Southern, but Northern Europe outside UK/Ire, Boxing Day is a strange thing they hear about, but don't have.

As to your actual question, I've used Eurostar on the 24th for each of the last 6 years without problem, although i almost always travel early (arrive in Bruxelles on a night/early morning train, left on Eurostar by 10 or 11 am latest). It's normally a more or less a normal schedule - occassionally with extra trains - although the last one or two may not run.

If your going to be traveling quite late on the 24th, make sure you book early. If your heading out on one of the early trains, you can just turn up as a rule. Bruxelles trains tend to be less busy and normally have spare seats. Bear in mind that in the UK Xmas-New Year is often used for engineering work, meaning jny times can be extended, and CAN lead to earlier departure times, of up to about 20mins, and they don't always publicise this until a week or 2 beforehand (as details aren't known/confirmed).

Expect your journey to take a bit longer. Also bear in mind allot of people will travel. So even if you arrive for your 30minutes check in time, it may not be enough for you to make the train due to volume of people going through & security checks. They are getting better and have staggered departures more now, but it can still a rush. Allow longer than you think you'll need (especially as your transfering from an airport and relying - guessing - on Pub T to do it).

Good luck, if you want to know more, or have any questions, just ask.

6. Posted by mschulen11 (Budding Member 8 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

gelli....excellent information...exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for.