Bargain-hungry passengers looking for joy in the Boxing Day sales will once again benefit from additional rail services, Transport Minister Norman Baker announced today (5 September 2013).
The extra services will make it easier for rail users to visit the shopping centres of central London, Stratford and Kent during the festive rush.
The Department for Transport, train operator Southeastern and infrastructure owners HS1 Ltd have agreed to support the timetable change following the success of extra Boxing Day services last year.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said:
I know rail passengers really appreciated these extra services when travelling to the sales last year and so it is great news that we will be able to roll them out again at no extra cost to the taxpayer.
Southeastern has shown there is sufficient demand for these trains and has a very good track record of running services on HS1 both on Boxing Day and during the Olympics.
This is another great example of government, infrastructure owners and train operators working together to provide benefits for passengers and the economy.
The half hourly service will run between Ashford International, Ebbsfleet International, Stratford International and St Pancras International between 8am and 8pm.
Southeastern’s managing director, Charles Horton said :
We’re really pleased to again offer this special Boxing Day service for our passengers. Our high speed service is hugely popular and with fantastic journey time savings and free parking at Ashford and Ebbsfleet, there’s a real incentive to get out and about and enjoy the Christmas sales.
Wendy Spinks, HS1 Limited’s Commercial Director, said:
HS1 is delighted to support the provision of Boxing Day services on the high speed network for a second year. In 2012 our collaborative work with Southeastern, Network Rail (High Speed) and government provided customers with an excellent service and responded to a passenger need identified by Southeastern. HS1 has excellent shopping facilities on its doorstep at St Pancras, Stratford, Ebbsfleet and Ashford, and will be perfectly positioned to whisk people to and from the sales.
Last year’s additional services followed a successful collaboration between Southeastern and HS1 during the Olympics and Paralympics, which saw extra high-speed services carrying passengers to and from Stratford International.
Please see Southeastern’s website for full timetable details from 13 September 2013.