Network Rail: Passengers should only travel if ‘absolutely necessary’ on coordinated rail strike days

 Thursday, September 29, 2022 

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The passengers should only travel if ‘absolutely necessary’ on coordinated rail strike days taking place on 1, 5 and 8 October.

Industrial action by the RMT, TSSA and Aslef across all three days will result in a combination of closed major stations, reduced services and on certain days, no trains at all on the West Coast main line, Chiltern main line and routes across the West Midlands.

The impact of the coordinated strike action by staff at train operators and Network Rail on individual days will be:

Saturday 1 October:

Birmingham New Street, London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street will all be closed with no trains running. It is the first day that the RMT, TSSA and Aslef will strike on the same day. Nationally, only around 11% of services will run. Anyone planning to travel into London ahead of the London Marathon should check if their service is running at www.nationalrail.co.uk and may want to travel on Friday if possible.

Wednesday 5 October:

Birmingham New Street, London Euston and Liverpool Lime Street will all be closed with no trains running.  Manchester Piccadilly will be open with limited services running. A walkout by train drivers (Aslef) across 14 operators will also mean disruption for passengers on those routes. The operators impacted include Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry and West Midlands Trains.

Saturday 8 October:

The RMT’s second strike day – on Saturday 8 October – will see a reduced rail service in operation. Last trains will leave stations between 3pm and 5pm with final arrivals by 6.30pm. Although not participating in strike action, there may be service updates to the Caledonian Sleeper timetable.

As has happened on previous ‘strike days’ in June, July and August, thousands of specially-trained and fully qualified back-up staff will step in during the walkouts to keep as many vital services running when possible.

With trains which do run starting later and finishing much earlier than usual, passengers are asked to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary. Those who must travel should expect disruption, plan ahead and check when their last train will depart.

Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s North West and Central region managing director, said: “Despite our best efforts to compromise and find a breakthrough in talks, rail unions remain intent on continuing and coordinating their strike action. This serves only to ensure our staff forgo even more of their pay unnecessarily, as well as causing even more disruption for our passengers and further damaging the railway’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Passengers who want to travel this Saturday, and indeed next Wednesday and next Saturday, are asked only to do so if absolutely necessary. Those who must travel should expect disruption and make sure they check when their last train will depart.”

Passengers are also advised that there is likely to be some disruption in the early morning of the day after each strike – Sunday 2 October, Thursday 6 October and Sunday 9 October – as workers return to duties.

Network Rail will also be carrying out essential work on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October to the railway track in Beechwood Tunnel on the West Coast main line near Berkswell, between Coventry and Birmingham International.

The work will include replacing track and is needed to maintain the 110mph speed limit through the tunnel and keep trains running safely and on time.  

Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central route director, said: “This is vital work needed to keep this crucial piece of railway safe and open for passengers and freight trains. It’s a key route linking Birmingham and London and while there is never a good time to disrupt journeys, the timing of this work will reduce the impact on passengers as much as possible.” A normal timetable will be in place from the start of service on Monday 10 October.

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