Transport for London has confirmed that the London Overground will operate its first ever Boxing Day service this year.
The prospect of a Boxing Day service was first raised in 2016 when a new contract between TfL and Overground operators Arriva made provision for trains to run on the bank holiday, and earlier this year Mayor Sadiq Khan said talks were underway to make it happen.
Today TfL has announced that following a successful outcome to those talks, services will operate from Highbury & Islington to West Croydon and Clapham Junction to Hackney Wick on Thursday 26 December.
The service is expected to also operate in future years, although TfL says the need for Network Rail to undertake essential maintenance work over the festive period means Overground services on Boxing Day may vary slightly each year.
Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager for London Overground, said: “The introduction of Boxing Day services on the London Overground is great news for our customers.
“Whether you are off to visit family and friends or to bag yourself a bargain from the sales, off peak fares will apply all day giving best value for money so you can make the most of the holidays with our help.”
Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, a long term advocate for a Boxing Day service, said today’s announcement was “incredibly welcome” and would “make it easier for people to visit friends and family, get to key football games or simply go to the Boxing Day sales.”
She added: “Tourists and visitors to London will also benefit greatly from this new service, along with many NHS workers and staff from our emergency services for whom Boxing Day is just another working day.”
“Other train operating companies should now step up and ensure more Boxing Day services are run on the rest of the rail network.”