Two-thirds of rail services in the UK will not operate on Boxing Day Getty

Only nine of the 31 train companies in Britain will operate on Boxing Day, leaving shoppers and those travelling stranded as the UK's rail network shuts down.

Main routes up and down Britain will be severed on 26 December, including lines between England and Scotland on the east and west coastlines, research by the Sunday Times has revealed. There will be no overground train services from London to Heathrow or Gatwick.

Two train companies are set to operate services on Boxing Day for the first time. Merseyrail will run services into Liverpool, while Chiltern Railways will run a service between London and Oxford via Bicester Village, a major shopping outlet in Oxfordshire.

A £150m programme of engineering works is taking place across the UK over the festive period, with disruptions and cancellations to services between London, Brighton and the largest airports. Meanwhile, 2.2 million people are expected to use trains between Christmas and New Year.

Improvement works mean Southern and Gatwick Express services will be disrupted over the holiday period, impacting services between London and Gatwick Airport from 10pm on Christmas Eve until 4am on Monday 4 January 2016.

The Heathrow Express from Paddington will be suspended for four days from Christmas Day due to Crossrail works. Neither Heathrow Express nor Heathrow Connect trains will run from London Paddington station during these dates.