Christmas train tickets selling out leaving families stranded over festive period

On top of this, trains, flights and coaches will all be running at reduced capacities due to ongoing social distancing measures.  Tickets have nearly sold out across some long-distance routes.

On booking website Trainline, at the time of publication, tickets from London to Newcastle were already incredibly limited for Dec 23, with only a few seats remaining on most journeys.

Tickets were close to selling out for many journeys from  London to Edinburgh on the same date, as were tickets for trips from London to Cardiff, particularly in first-class carriages.

As usual, there will be no trains running on Christmas Day itself, and a very limited number of services running on Boxing Day. 

The Government has appointed Sir Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail, to examine whether transport links across the country will be fit for purpose over Christmas.  

He has been given the power to force train operators

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My most memorable train ride: 10 readers’ travel tips



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Photograph: Alamy

Winning tip: Etna circuit, Sicily



a large green field with a mountain in the background: Under the volcano … the Etna circuit train.


© Photograph: Alamy
Under the volcano … the Etna circuit train.

The 68-mile trip round Mount Etna in eastern Sicily was full of contrasts: the bleak black landscapes of the lava fields; lush valleys covered in fig, orange, pistachio and olive groves; the almost-abandoned villages and stations at the start and the busyness of Catania. Etna was constantly in sight, often belching out black smoke. On the early stretch from Riposto to Randozzo there were few people inside or out. At Randozzo we grabbed a quick coffee at the buffet before changing to a modern train to continue to Catania. The scenery gradually become more urban and we moved forward in time at least a century.

circumetnea.it, single under €10

Hilary

Life lessons, Yangon



A young man dangerously hangs from a moving train in Yangon’s suburbs. Photograph: Alamy


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A young man dangerously hangs from a moving

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My most memorable train ride: 10 readers’ travel tips | Rail travel

Winning tip: Etna circuit, Sicily

The 68-mile trip round Mount Etna in eastern Sicily was full of contrasts: the bleak black landscapes of the lava fields; lush valleys covered in fig, orange, pistachio and olive groves; the almost-abandoned villages and stations at the start and the busyness of Catania. Etna was constantly in sight, often belching out black smoke. On the early stretch from Riposto to Randozzo there were few people inside or out. At Randozzo we grabbed a quick coffee at the buffet before changing to a modern train to continue to Catania. The scenery gradually become more urban and we moved forward in time at least a century.
circumetnea.it, single under €10
Hilary

Life lessons, Yangon

A young man hangs from a moving train in Yangon’s suburbs.
A young man dangerously hangs from a moving train in Yangon’s suburbs. Photograph: Alamy

A three-hour trip on Yangon’s Circular Railway is arguably the most culturally immersive experience you can have

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Is train travel a safer option this holiday? This is what experts say.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, the Transportation Security Administration reported a record number of travelers passing through airports, and AAA predicted nearly 50 million people would be traveling by car. Those numbers suggest there could be another travel bump in the next few weeks around Christmas.



a close up of a sign


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While driving and flying are the most popular travel options, where does taking a train fit into pandemic travel? During the 2019 fiscal year, Amtrak carried a record 32.5 million passengers; however, an Amtrak internal analysis in April showed a 95 percent drop in ridership because of coronavirus. (Air travel was also down by 96 percent).

Gina Suh, head of the Mayo Clinic’s travel clinic, says train travel isn’t too dissimilar from air travel. There’s not enough data on either to say which is safer, but the same risk factors are at play. It’s all about how many people you come in

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One train operator suspends peak tickets over Christmas amid fears of transport chaos

Peak ticket restrictions over the festive period have been suspended by Avanti West Coast trains amid growing concerns the rail network will descend into chaos as people struggle to join families over Christmas.

Passengers travelling on weekdays with off-peak tickets are usually prohibited from boarding trains before 9.30am or between 3pm and 7pm.

But the Avanti operator yesterday announced the rule will not be applied on its trains from December 18 until the end of the year.

The announcement came as Labour called for a blanket suspension of peak rail fares over Christmas, as well as mass testing for Covid-19 among transport workers.

The party is demanding Transport Secretary Grant Shapps present to Parliament tomorrow a “comprehensive travel plan” covering the nationwide lifting of travel restrictions from December 23 to 27.

It is estimated more than two million people travel by train between Christmas and New Year, with millions more

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COVID-19: Train operators urge people to book tickets ‘early as possible’ ahead of Christmas surge | Travel News

Those planning to travel during the Christmas period are being encouraged to book tickets “as early as possible” to avoid being denied entry on to trains.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) released the warning ahead of its festive ticket sales on Friday.

The operator is expecting its Christmas Eve services to sell out quickly.

LNER
Image:
The operator says its trains are running ‘substantially reduced’ services to ensure social distancing

Capacity on its trains are “substantially reduced” to ensure social distancing – in line with COVID-19 guidance – and those that fail to pre-book their tickets will not be able to travel.

The company operates on the East Coast Main Line between King’s Cross and Scotland.

The London station will be closed for six days from Christmas Day as part of its £1.2bn upgrade of its routes.

As a result, LNER is advising passengers to “avoid travel” on Christmas Eve,

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New luxury train adventure will bring passengers between Denver and Moab

A popular luxury train company in Canada is expanding into the United States and introducing a new journey that will take passengers between Denver and Moab.

On Nov. 19, Rocky Mountaineer, a company that hosts multi-day luxury train voyages in Canada, announced that its new route in the United States will open to the public in 2021.

The route, titled Rockies to the Red Rocks, will bring passengers on a two-day adventure between Denver and Moab, including an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs.

Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer

Peter Armstrong is the founder of Rocky Mountaineer.

“Over the past 30 years, Rocky Mountaineer has become renowned for our world-class train travel experiences, and now we are opening our newest train experience in the region where American train travel history began,” he said. “This region, with its magnificent scenery, national parks, and vast opportunities to explore, will delight millions.”

Marlene Neidert, tourism promotion project

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Can we get a refund for our train tickets to Scotland now its closing?



a large clock tower towering over the city of london: MailOnline logo


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Me and my partner booked non-refundable train tickets from London to Edinburgh earlier this year to do Christmas shopping in December.

We have now found out that Scotland is shutting its borders to those travelling from England.

As we booked before lockdown and before we knew this information, will we be able to get our money back?



a large clock tower towering over the city of london: Travellers looking to enter Scotland will no longer be able to as of today, due to coronavirus


© Provided by This Is Money
Travellers looking to enter Scotland will no longer be able to as of today, due to coronavirus

Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: Scotland has announced it will now be illegal for anyone to cross the Scottish border as the country locks down to prevent more coronavirus cases. 

This means those in England are unable to travel to the country without a reasonable excuse and if they break the rules, they could face fines of £60.

The plans are

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Blue Train on your bucket list? Luxury accommodation has never been cheaper



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The impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality sector is the stuff of nightmares.

There are empty beds for Africa – and therefore deals galore.

Right now, there are some deals on luxury accommodation that is unlikely to ever repeat.




a close up of a subway station: Image courtesy of www.flickr.com/people/shine2010/


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Image courtesy of www.flickr.com/people/shine2010/

Refilwe Moloto interviewed freelance writer Andrew Thompson.

He found many specials, offering of up to 70% off.

Some of the deals Thomson found:

  • Sable Alley, Botswana (Normal price: from R13 300 per person sharing, now going for R3490)

  • Angama Mara, Kenya (Normal price: from R20 000 per person sharing, now going for R50 000 for five days)

  • Jack’s Camp, Botswana (Normal price: from R28 000 per person sharing, now going for R4990)

  • Mapula Lodge, Botswana (Normal price: from R17 000 per person sharing,

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COVID-19 holiday travel: Train safety tips

Amtrak has new COVID-19 safety protocols you should know about when you book your ticket. There’s a limited number of tickets sold to allow for social distancing, and reservations will be required for seats on popular Southern California routes that don’t typically require them. Use the Amtrak app, go to Amtrak.com or call (800) 872-7245 to find schedules and book your trip.

  • Buy your ticket early to get a seat on the train you want. You can change your ticket without paying a fee through Dec. 31. However, you might be charged if you cancel your ticket.
  • Make a reservation if you plan to travel on the Pacific Surfliner, which links San Diego, Orange County, L.A., Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. This holiday season Amtrak will require seat reservations between Nov. 23 and Nov. 30 on the popular coastal route. Again, reserve early so you aren’t shut out. Metrolink

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