Christmas is coming!

Your guide to festive travel with Virgin Trains East Coast.

And yes, you can travel on Christmas Eve.

Get the most out of your festive journeys with us

It’s that time of year again… our Christmas and New Year tickets are now on sale. Book now for the festive season, and read on for all timetable and service changes during that time.

Last services on the east coast route

Our services on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will finish earlier than a normal Sunday – so make a note of these all-important times.


Christmas Eve

Going to and leaving from London King’s Cross

Northbound
18.00 to Edinburgh
19.00 to Newcastle
20.05 to Leeds

Southbound
16.20 from Edinburgh
17.49 from Newcastle
19.16 from Leeds


New Year’s Eve

Going to and leaving from London King’s Cross

Northbound
19.00 to Edinburgh
20.00 to Newcastle
20.35 to Leeds

Southbound
16.20 from Edinburgh
17.49 from Newcastle
19.16 from Leeds

Christmas catering

Christmas isn't Christmas without great food, so we’ll be offering some festive touches to our First Class food and drink on selected weekday services over the Christmas period. There’s a simpler (but still delicious) menu available over the holiday period.

Festive fare for 27, 28 and 29 December

For breakfast, we have a hot bacon roll, Danish pastry or gourmet yoghurt. For the rest of the day, there will be a choice of cold sandwiches or a light, hot snack, plus crisps and cake.

We will also be serving hot and soft drinks all day (alcohol is available for purchase from The Foodbar).

Festive fare for 24, 30, 31 December and 1, 2 January

For breakfast, we have a Danish pastry or gourmet yoghurt. For the rest of the day, there will be a choice of cold sandwiches, plus crisps and cake. We will also be serving hot and soft drinks all day (alcohol is available for purchase from The Foodbar).

Our usual catering offer will resume on Wednesday 3 January 2018.

Please note that all our complimentary food and drink is subject to availability on the day. You can find out more about what this means on our First Class menus page.

The Foodbar will be open on most services throughout the festive season too, offering a range of drinks, snacks and hot and cold food.

Happy feasting!

Tickets and reservations

Our services are naturally very busy over Christmas and New Year, so it’s best to book in advance at virgintrainseastcoast.com to secure your seat home – and don’t forget to travel on your booked service otherwise you might struggle to find a spare seat on another one.

Seats are subject to availability, so we advise booking ahead. To make life more comfortable, you can even choose the seat you want to sit in when you book online with us.

Changes to ticket restrictions when travelling with Virgin Trains East Coast

On Friday 22 December, the usual southbound restrictions for Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets to and via London and Stevenage will apply. However, the northbound restrictions for these tickets will be lifted all day.

Between Saturday 23 December and Monday 1 January inclusive, the usual time restrictions for Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets to and via London and Stevenage will be lifted in both directions (result!).

Between Saturday 23 December and Monday 1 January inclusive, all time restrictions for Off-Peak Day tickets and Off Peak Day Travelcards will be lifted on our services too.

Normal restrictions will apply throughout the festive period to Transport for London Off-Peak Travelcards.

Advance tickets are only valid for the service which they’re booked on, including throughout the whole Christmas period – so make sure you’re on the right train!

And finally, if you’ve got connecting trains with other train companies – or are travelling with them for the whole of your journey – please check their restriction policy before travelling to avoid any problems.

Upgrade to a Festive First Class Ticket – from just £15!

Treat yourself to the comfort of First Class this Christmas – featuring extra legroom, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary food and drinks served at your seat (subject to on-the-day availability).

Upgrades will be available onboard Virgin Trains East Coast services from Saturday 23 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018 inclusive, subject to availability. All you need is a valid Standard ticket or rail pass – plus £15 or £25 depending on your journey length. Simply ask the Train Manager when you board and, if seats are available, you’ll be lapping up the luxury in minutes.

Don’t forget your tickets and Railcards

Remember to bring your reservation, tickets and Railcards with you, and have them available for inspection throughout your journey. Makes for a smoother and speedier journey all round.

Luggage

What with all those presents and novelty jumpers, it’s hard to travel light at Christmas – but please only bring what you can carry. Our staff will be on hand to assist but sadly won't be able to magic up more luggage racks.

If you’re disabled or have reduced mobility, you can make arrangements in advance to receive assistance with your luggage. Simply call 03457 22 53 33** by 18.00 the day before you travel and we’ll do everything we can to help.

We know it’s tempting, but seats are for backsides, not bags. Any bags caught sitting on seats may be charged. They have been warned.

Luggage check-in for travel between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley

Between Monday 18 December 2017 and Thursday 4 January 2018, we’ll be operating luggage check-in on our services between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley.

At Edinburgh Waverley, a check-in desk will be located on the platform the train departs from.

At London King’s Cross, our staff will be available to check in your luggage on the departure platform.

Your luggage will be tagged and you’ll be provided with a receipt to show upon arrival at your destination where you’ll be reunited with your luggage. Easy.

The check-in services will be open approximately 30 minutes before the train departs and close approximately 10 minutes before departure, so be sure to arrive with plenty of time to check in and hop on.

For more check-in info, please see our luggage policy at virgintrainseastcoast.com/luggage

Changes to our timetable

To cater for additional demand and to allow for essential engineering works this festive season, we’ll be operating a revised timetable, which you can find in full in the Timetable Changes section of our website. Here we’ve put together a summary of those festive services – but don’t forget to check for live updates on your day of travel to help make sure you’re home in time for that turkey.

Saturday 23 December – Christmas Eve Eve

The stops at York, Darlington and Newcastle on the 10.00 and 14.00 from London King’s Cross to Aberdeen and the 12.00 from London King’s Cross to Inverness will only be to pick up customers, so no alighting folks!

Sunday 24 December – Christmas Eve

The stops at York, Darlington, Newcastle, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Edinburgh Waverley and Haymarket on the 10.00 and 14.00 from London King’s Cross to Aberdeen and 12.00 from London King’s Cross to Inverness will only be to pick up customers.

As in previous years, services will also finish earlier than a normal Sunday so please check before you travel to avoid a nightmare before Christmas!

Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 December – Christmas Day and Boxing Day

As always, we won’t be running any services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day – we’ll be rocking around our respective Christmas trees.

Wednesday 27 December

We’ll be running a reduced service to and from Leeds.

On the 07.52 and 09.52 services from Aberdeen to London King’s Cross and the 07.55 from Inverness to London King’s Cross, stops at Newcastle, Darlington and York will be for customers to get off the train only.

On northbound journeys, the 10.00, 14.00 and 16.00 from London King’s Cross to Aberdeen, and 12.00 to Inverness, stops at York, Darlington and Newcastle will only be to pick up customers.

The 05.40 from Sunderland to London King’s Cross will start from Newcastle at 05.59.

The 06.15 from Doncaster to Edinburgh Waverley will start from York at 06.39.

The 07.30 from Lincoln to London King’s Cross will start from Newark North Gate at 07.57.

The 07.00 from Hull to London King’s Cross will start from Doncaster at 07.57.

Phew.

Saturday 30 December

The stops at York, Darlington and Newcastle on the 10.00 and 14.00 from London King’s Cross to Aberdeen and the 12.00 from London King’s Cross to Inverness will only be to pick up customers.

Sunday 31 December – New Year’s Eve

As in previous years, services will finish earlier than a normal Sunday so please check before you travel to make sure you don’t miss the countdown (and the kisses).

Monday 1 January – New Year’s Day

As in previous years, morning services will start later than normal.

We’ll be running a reduced service to and from Leeds.

The 20.00 from London King’s Cross to Sunderland will terminate at Newcastle.

We also won’t be running any services north of Edinburgh, giving you time to recover from those celebrations the night before!

Useful numbers

If you have a general enquiry, check our website or call the Virgin Trains East Coast telephone sales number and our staff will help you however they can. Tell them your favourite Christmas cracker joke – they may even sing you a carol.

 

Ticket sales and information

Telesales 03457 22 53 33**
Journey Care 03457 22 53 33**
Textphone 18001 03457 22 53 33

If you require information about other train operating companies please contact them directly.

Alternatively you can contact National Rail
Website www.nationalrail.co.uk
By phone 03457 48 49 50

Have a glorious Christmas and the best 2018.

**Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 9p per minute; calls from mobiles typically cost between 3p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.