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Almost 44,000 trains were cancelled over the Christmas period

George Martin
Empty platforms at King's Cross, London, as trains in and out of the station have been cancelled because of overrunning Network Rail engineering works north of the station, with a reduced service tomorrow.
Empty platforms at King's Cross station in London. (PA)

Shocking new figures have revealed that almost over half the number of trains scheduled to run over the Christmas period were cancelled.

According to Network Rail data published by The Sunday Times, strikes over Christmas meant South Western Railway left 25 stations, including London Waterloo, running with less than half the usual number of trains.

Over eight days between 20-28 December there were nearly 44,000 unplanned cancellations.

It comes just days before rail passengers are set to be slapped with an average fare increase of 2.7 per cent on 2 January.

An empty departure board at Paddington Station, London as trains are unable to run between the railway hub and Slough or Heathrow Airport after overhead electric wires were "severely" damaged at Ealing on Tuesday night.
An empty departure board at Paddington Station. (PA)

The changes to the current fare structure will mean many commuters pay at least £100 more for their annual season ticket.

Leo Goodwin, Network Rail’s managing director, new trains for most of the cancellations.

“Our current performance is not acceptable and we are working hard to fix this,” he told The Sunday Times.

Staff sickness and annual leave have also reportedly been blamed for the disruption.

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Because of the cancellations, around a third of trains that were supposed to stop at Blackpool North were cancelled.

While just 18 per cent of the trains that usually pass through Farnham in Surrey did so.

TransPennine Express, which links northern England and Scotland, cancelled more than a quarter of its trains over the Christmas week. And on Christmas Eve, a third of its services were cut at short notice.

Great Northern, which runs services from London to Cambridge and Peterborough, has had to cancel one in 10 trains.

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