The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has organised four more days of train strikes in March and April in the long-running dispute with rail operators over pay, jobs and working conditions.

Thursday 16 March marked the first day of action, with only around 40-50 per cent of trains running.

However, these strikes are not quite as disruptive as previous RMT walkouts, as Network Rail staff suspended their action after progress in talks and a new pay offer.

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming strikes, and the latest travel advice.

When are the rail strikes?

After striking on Thursday, rail workers will also walk out on:

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

How will trains be affected?

Most services that are running will start later than normal, at about 7.30am, and will finish earlier than usual, at around 6.30pm.

Here’s how each operator will be affected by the strikes:

Avanti West Coast

One train per hour will run in both directions between London Euston and each of Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston. A limited service will operate to and from Glasgow.

c2c

No major impact.

Caledonian Sleeper

No major impact.

Chiltern Railways

No trains will run north of Banbury. There will be one train per hour in both directions between London Marylebone and each of Aylesbury/Aylesbury Vale Parkway, Banbury and Oxford.

CrossCountry

No direct services will run to and from Birmingham New Street and locations such as Cambridge, Cardiff, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth and Stansted Airport.

East Midlands Railway

Just one train per hour will run in each direction between Leicester and each of Lincoln, Nottingham and Sheffield, and between London St Pancras and both Kettering and Corby. There will be the same frequency between Derby and Matlock, and between Nottingham and each of Derby, Sheffield, Mansfield Woodhouse and Grantham.

Elizabeth Line

Services will start later than normal.

Gatwick Express

There will be no services but Southern will run trains between Gatwick Airport and London Bridge.

Grand Central

No major impact.

Great Northern

There will be very few trains, with no services east of Ely to King’s Lynn.

Great Western Railway

Trains will run between London Paddington and each of Bristol Parkway, Cardiff, Exeter via Bristol Temple Meads, Newbury and Oxford. The only other routes open will be between West Ealing and Greenford, Slough and Windsor, Maidenhead and Marlow, Twyford and Henley, Reading and Basingstoke, Cardiff and Westbury, and Plymouth and Newton Abbot.

Greater Anglia

Some routes will have a reduced frequency, but many will have a normal or near-normal service.

Heathrow Express

No major impact.

Hull Trains

No major impact.

LNER

A limited timetable will be in operation. This includes the London King’s Cross-Edinburgh route having a total of just 16 trains across both directions.

London Northwestern Railway

A limited timetable will operate only on these routes: between Birmingham New Street and each of Northampton via Coventry, Birmingham International via local stations, and Crewe. Services will also run between London Euston and Northampton.

London Overground

No major impact.

Lumo

No major impact.

Merseyrail

No major impact.

Northern

Trains will only run between Leeds and each of York, Hebden Bridge, Ilkley, Skipton, Sheffield and Bradford Forster Square, and between Darlington and Saltburn, and Liverpool and Manchester Airport.

ScotRail

No major impact.

South Western Railway

There will be a significantly reduced service and only between London Waterloo and both Hounslow and Woking, and between Basingstoke and Southampton, Guildford and Woking, and Salisbury and Basingstoke.

Southeastern

No trains will run on the vast majority of the network in Kent and East Sussex. There will be two trains per hour in each direction for most of Saturday on these lines: Bexleyheath, Bromley North, Bromley South, Sidcup and Woolwich.

On the high speed line there will be two trains per hour to and from Ashford International and four per hour to and from Ebbsfleet International.

On the Sevenoaks line there will be two trains per hour to and from Sevenoaks and four per hour to and from Orpington.

Southern

Due to engineering work there will be very few local stopping services in south London. No trains will serve Clapham Junction or Victoria, with most diverted to London Bridge.

Stansted Express

Services will run between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport from 7am to 11pm.

Thameslink

Services will be split north and south, with nothing running between London St Pancras and London Bridge.

TransPennine Express

A reduced timetable will operate and only on these routes: between Huddersfield and York, Manchester Airport and Preston, and Cleethorpes and Sheffield.

Transport for Wales

Transport for Wales is not involved in the industrial action but some of its services will be extremely busy due to other operators running reduced timetables.

West Midlands Railway

A limited timetable will operate only on these routes: between Lichfield Trent Valley and Redditch/Bromsgrove via Birmingham New Street, and between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton via local stations. Those not involved in the dispute will see no major impact, but their services could be busier than normal due to timetable cuts elsewhere.

Why are the rail strikes happening?

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) – which represents the rail operators – has said the RMT was offered a nine per cent pay deal, with 13 per cent to the lowest-paid workers, to end the row with train operators, and accused the union of blocking a resolution.

Speaking outside London’s Euston station, RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, told Sky News: “We haven’t accepted it because it’s a really poor offer. It’s rubbish, really, it’s way below the rate of inflation.

“We haven’t had a pay increase for three years and members during that period have been subjected to an inflation rate on the retail price index of over 22 per cent.

“We’ve been offered 9 per cent over two years, but they have to fund that themselves through cuts to their terms and conditions, changes to their working practices.”

Steve Montgomery, chair of the RDG, said: “This latest round of strikes will be a further inconvenience to our customers, who have already experienced months of disruption, and cost our people even more money at a time they can least afford it.

“They will also be asking why the RMT leadership blocked the chance to resolve this dispute by refusing to give their members – many of whom would have benefited from a 13 per cent increase – a say on their own deal.

“Unfortunately, while we will pull out all the stops to keep as many trains running as possible, there will be reduced services across many parts of the rail network on all four strike days, so our advice is to check before you travel.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “RMT members at train operating companies are being denied a say on their own future, while being forced to lose more pay through avoidable strike action.

“We urge the RMT’s executive to put the Rail Delivery Group’s very fair offer to a democratic vote of their members, like it has on two separate occasions for RMT members working for Network Rail.”

By admin