Rail passengers planning a Christmas getaway face a season of misery because of engineering work on key lines.
Network Rail has warned some routes will have ‘significant changes to normal services’ and urged people to plan their journeys as early as possible.
But some timetables will only be confirmed six weeks in advance, instead of the standard 12.
Commuters in London are facing Christmas and New Year travel chaos in one of the biggest ever rail shutdowns over the festive season.
It follows delayed engineering projects and the launch of new trains and services after ‘unprecedented’ investment.
Some of the improvement work will begin on December 23 – the last working day before Christmas – to give engineers ‘three clear days to make uninterrupted progress’.
Network Rail has warned some routes will have ‘significant changes to normal services’ and urged people to plan their journeys as early as possible
Nearly all routes into Paddington (pictured) which includes Heathrow Rail and Heathrow Express services will be cancelled or heavily reduced from December 23 to New Year's Day.
Network Rail insisted there will be less overall disruption than during the 2017 festive period because most of the engineering work has been scheduled for when no trains are planned to run, such as on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
A number of lines serving London’s major stations and airports will be blocked.
Major work is expected to affect Paddington between December 23 and December 31.
Nearly all routes into Paddington - which includes Heathrow Rail and Heathrow Express services - will be cancelled or heavily reduced from December 23 to New Year's Day.
Major improvement work is taking place at London Euston, closing some lines from Christmas Eve
Services to / from London Euston will be reduced, with two per hour running between London Euston and West Midlands / Manchester Piccadilly.
Services to / from Holyhead will run between Crewe and Holyhead only. Services to / from Blackpool North, Shrewsbury and Wrexham General will not run.
The 4.40pm London Euston to Edinburgh service will be diverted to run to Glasgow Central instead of Edinburgh.
From 9.15pm on Monday December 24 until the end of service, trains will be diverted to run via Warrington Bank Quay, and will not call at Runcorn.
Replacement buses will run between Crewe / Liverpool Lime Street and Runcorn.
From December 23 to 25 and on December 30 there will be no Heathrow Express services, while Great Western Railway trains will terminate at Slough or Reading.
Passengers are urged to avoid Clapham Junction from December 23 to January 1. It will be exceptionally busy because platforms nine to 19 at London Victoria will be closed.
No Gatwick Express trains will run, while most Southern services will be diverted to and from London Bridge and Blackfriars.
Southern rail routes from December 22 to January 2 will be disrupted as work will be carried out to replace worn out track near Victoria.
Engineering work is taking place at various points around Manchester Victoria, closing lines during Christmas and New Year.
East London will also be affected, with engineering work being carried out between Liverpool Street and Stratford.
It will affect all passengers using firms Greater Anglia, Stansted Express, c2c, and Tfl Rail services.
And the major hub of Euston is facing a reduction in services, with timetable changes to the London Overground's Watford line and Virgin Trains to Scotland and the Midlands.
Major engineering work is taking place in the London Liverpool Street / Stratford area, as well as at other points on the Greater Anglia network on Christmas Eve
An hourly Greater Anglia service will run between:
London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.
London Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
Broxbourne and Hertford East.
Train services will run between Ingatestone and Colchester / Clacton-on-Sea / Ipswich / Norwich.
Buses will replace trains between Ingatestone and Newbury Park Underground station via Shenfield.
Valid tickets can be used on London Underground services between Newbury Park and London Liverpool Street.
All Greater Anglia services will shut down earlier than usual, around 9pm.