The train strikes which disrupted rail travel in the second half of 2022 have continued into this year, with further dates planned in March.

However, a major walkout has been suspended after progress in talks between the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) – the body behind this month’s strikes – and Network Rail.

While other strikes are currently proceeding as planned, the union has promised further updates on ongoing disputes – here’s what you need to know.

When are there train strikes in March 2023?

Rail workers at 14 major train companies represented by the RMT are still scheduled to stage strikes on the following dates:

  • Thursday 16 March
  • Saturday 18 March
  • Thursday 30 March
  • Saturday 1 April

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents the operators, has urged the union to also call of those walk outs and put its latest offer to a vote.

Information signs at New Street Station in Birmingham alerting commuters of no trains during industrial action. Train driver members of Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are taking to picket lines again in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. Picture date: Friday February 3, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY Strikes. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire
Rail strikes involving 14 operators are still scheduled to go ahead in March 2023 (Photo: PA)

Why was the Network Rail strike suspended?

RMT union members working at Network Rail were due to strike next on 16 March until 2am on 17 March.

However, in a statement on Tuesday 7 March the RMT said it had “taken the decision to suspend all industrial action on Network Rail following receipt of a new offer from the employer”.

The union added: “Further updates will be given on all aspects of the national rail dispute in the coming days.”

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “We are relieved for our people, passengers and freight customers that industrial action in Network Rail has now been suspended.”

RMT members at Network Rail will begin voting on an offer aimed at resolving the bitter industrial dispute on Thursday 9 March.

The referendum on what the union described as a “new and improved” offer will run until March 20. The RMT said the proposal “involves extra money” and is not conditional on accepting Network Rail’s maintenance reforms.

It added that it is better than a previous offer it rejected as the 2023 pay rise would be backdated to October 2022, stating: “Network Rail’s offer amounts to an uplift on salaries of between 14.4 per cent for the lowest paid grades to 9.2 per cent for the highest paid.”

The RMT is not making a recommendation on how its members should vote in the referendum.

More on Strikes

Which lines are affected by the rail strikes?

The 14 train operators affected by the series of RMT strikes are:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern
  • CrossCountry
  • c2c
  • East Midlands
  • Gatwick Express
  • Greater Anglia
  • Great Northern
  • Great Western
  • LNER
  • Northern
  • Southeastern
  • Southern
  • South Western
  • Thameslink
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands

Previous major action from the RMT has resulted in up to 80 per cent of the country’s rail network brought to a halt.

It is therefore expected that most operators will either be running no trains at all or a severely reduced service during the walkouts, with trains starting later and finishing earlier than usual.

The operators will provide more information on how timetables will be affected closer to the time, and you can find the latest advice from National Rail here.

By admin