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Passengers intending to travel by train to see loved ones over Christmas are being urged to check their route amid concerns of disruption caused by surging Omicron cases.

The ongoing pandemic and rising number of positive tests have hit train drivers causing staff shortages and delayed and cancelled trains this festive period.

The coronavirus-related staff shortages have brought widespread cancellations among rail operators across the country.

Read more: Coronavirus News

Greater Anglia is one of the services that has been hit and has released a new ‘temporary’ timetable to reflect the situation.

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Greater Anglia said it has removed trains from its timetables due to falling passenger numbers “as people follow advice to work from home.”

On the Greater Anglia website is says: “We are making some changes to our timetable to reflect the current situation with the pandemic.

“We are taking the following weekday services out of the timetable from Monday, December 20.

“This is due to falling passenger numbers as people follow advice to work from home.

“We also have to plan for our staff being affected by the omicron variant, especially as we’re already starting to see the early signs of its impact, to ensure we can continue to provide a reliable service.

“If you have booked a ticket for one of the canceled services you can catch either the train before or after the service that has been canceled.”

It also states: “On Christmas Eve, the last services of the day will be earlier than usual. There will be no services on Christmas Day, and on Boxing Day the only services operating are some Stansted Express services.”

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, told the Mirror: “It’s better for some services to be temporarily withdrawn on a planned basis than to have chaotic last-minute cancellations.

“These are harder for passengers to deal with and more likely to lead to overcrowding.

“Passengers need clear, reliable information to plan their journeys. Anyone who has already bought tickets must be told and offered alternatives or their money back.”

View more information on planned Service Alterations here and the recent timetable changes here.

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