Rail Strikes to Disrupt Services in July and August
The rail network is set to face another day of strikes on 29 July, with further industrial action planned for August. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) is taking strike action over pay, jobs, pensions, and conditions, while the ASLEF union has announced overtime bans in a dispute over pay.
Impact of the Strikes
When ASLEF members go on strike, it usually means there are no drivers available, leading to disruptions in train services. On the other hand, when RMT members go on strike, there is widespread disruption to the network as various roles within the rail industry, including station staff and guards, participate in the strike.
Details of the Strikes
The RMT union has scheduled a walkout on Saturday 29 July, resulting in many services not running at all. The few services that do operate are expected to be very busy, and the timetable will start later and finish earlier than on a non-strike day.
Meanwhile, ASLEF members at 16 rail operators will refuse to work overtime on the following days:
- Monday 31 July
- Tuesday 1 August
- Wednesday 2 August
- Thursday 3 August
- Friday 4 August
- Saturday 5 August
- Monday 7 August
- Tuesday 8 August
- Wednesday 9 August
- Thursday 10 August
- Friday 11 August
- Saturday 12 August
Advice for Passengers
Various train operating companies have provided advice for passengers during the strike period:
Avanti West Coast
Avanti West Coast recommends customers check their entire journey before traveling on the RMT strike day, especially the first and last trains. Late services the night before and early services the next day will also be affected. The company plans to run its normal timetable during the ASLEF action. Customers who booked tickets to travel on strike days before the industrial action was announced can claim a full fee-free refund from their point of purchase.
On 29 July, all C2C services will run to/from Fenchurch Street station and will not stop at Liverpool Street or Stratford. The ASLEF strike will not affect C2C services.
During the ASLEF action, Chiltern Railways expects trains to be busier than usual, and there will be changes across the network’s timetable. Customers are advised to check before they travel. On 29 July, a very limited service will be operating, with one train an hour running to destinations from Marylebone station.
During the ASLEF industrial action, CrossCountry warns that a small number of services may be subject to late-notice cancellation or amendment. On 29 July, CrossCountry will be running a limited service.
East Midlands Railway
On 29 July, East Midlands Railway services will run between 7.30am and 6.30pm only. Services will start later and finish earlier than usual, with the last departures starting between 3pm and 4.30pm. The company advises passengers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary and to expect severe disruption.
Services on Greater Anglia will start at 7am, with all last trains reaching their destination by 11pm. Most routes will have a normal or near-normal service during the hours that trains are running. However, some routes will have a limited service, and a small number may have no trains at all. Short notice cancellations may also occur. Greater Anglia has said services will start later the day after strikes as a “knock-on” from the walkouts.
Great Western Railway
During the RMT strike, Great Western Railway will have a reduced and revised timetable, with many parts of its network having no service at all. The ASLEF action may also affect services with a limited number of short-notice cancellations and alterations. Customers are advised to check before they travel. If tickets were purchased for the strike days but the journey is not taken, a full refund or ticket amendment can be claimed.
GTR, also known as Govia Thameslink Railway, will run an amended timetable with fewer services on 29 July, and services are expected to be busier than usual. Great Northern and Thameslink routes north of London will start later and finish much earlier than normal. The disruption from the strike will have a knock-on effect the next day, with some routes having no services before 7am.
London North Eastern Railway (LNER) will be running trains on 29 July but with a reduced timetable. The company advises that the timetables are subject to change until confirmed by Network Rail approximately one week before each strike day. During the ASLEF union’s industrial action, LNER plans to run a normal timetable, but there may be short-notice alterations and cancellations.
Southeastern expects to run a limited service on RMT strike days, with some routes closed and no replacement buses available. During the ASLEF overtime ban, Southeastern plans to run a full service, but if the strike action impacts travel, passengers can claim a strike refund.
South Western Railway
On RMT strike days, South Western Railway will only run trains between 7am and 7pm, with a significantly reduced service. The company advises customers to only travel if absolutely necessary. For the ASLEF action, South Western Railway has released a full timetable of services running on those days. Services will usually be reduced to hourly in off-peak periods, with a small number of cancellations during the morning and evening peaks. Some first and last trains may also be cancelled.
Transpennine Express warns that the RMT strike will cause significant disruption, with services starting later and finishing earlier than usual. Disruption is also likely on days following strike action. During the planned ASLEF action, some services may start later and finish earlier than usual, and some journeys may be altered late or on the day of travel.
West Midlands Railway
West Midlands Railway will be running a reduced timetable on RMT strike days, with some routes not being served. On ASLEF action days, services will be subject to on-the-day changes.
Passengers are advised to check with their respective train operating companies for the latest updates and to plan their journeys accordingly.