Expecting to get a train home after seeing in 2011 in style? Check carefully since rail operator Southeastern has cancelled most of its services in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Sister company Southern has also dropped most of its overnight services, leaving much of SE London without all-night trains.
For the past few years, Southeastern has, along with other London rail operators, run an all-night service on selected lines to help relieve crowding on night buses. But last year London mayor Boris Johnson cut the £100,000 funding for the all-night trains, which enabled the companies to officially run them for free.
Other London rail firms are managing to provide an all-night service, though. South West Trains is running through the night to Kingston, Wimbledon and Richmond. East and north Londoners will get half-hourly trains from Liverpool Street courtesy of National Express.
The last train on any Southeastern route will leave Charing Cross for Dartford via Greenwich at 1.41am.
Hourly Boxing Day services have also been dropped by Southeastern, and Network Rail engineering work means Charing Cross and Waterloo East stations will be closed on 27 December.
Transport for London has yet to announce full details of its Christmas schedule, which has traditionally seen all-night free Tube and DLR travel over New Year, together with a beefed-up night bus service.
I would have contacted Southeastern for a comment on this, but the train company told me earlier this year it “doesn’t respond to blogs, etc”.