Rail users face chaos tomorrow as strikes set to affect network

And the strikes haven’t even STARTED yet! Hundreds of rail passengers battle ‘shambles’ at London Euston as they battle to race home ahead of fresh round of walkouts tomorrow

  • Rail users face significant disruption until next week as staff unions plan strike action until Saturday
  • The unions are in a long-running dispute with rail companies over pay, jobs and their working conditions 
  • Transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan today said there could be a deal between unions and rail firms  

Rail users struggled to get home this evening as services were wound down ahead of tomorrow’s strike action which will bring much of the nation’s network to a halt. 

Many of the country’s services will face significant disruption until the weekend with some firms urging customers to avoid travelling unless their journey is ‘absolutely necessary’. 

Last weekend, strikes affected people travelling to events such as the London Marathon, the Manchester derby and even the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. 

Now, long-suffering commuters and leisure users will suffer fresh travel chaos on tomorrow because of another strike in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Thousands of commuters at London Euston station watched the screens nervously as they tried to make their way home this evening ahead of tomorrow’s rail strikes

Several rail unions are withdrawing their labour tomorrow as part of a long-running protest over pay and conditions 

Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan indicated there could be a possible deal between unions and rail companies to stop further disruption 

Members of the drivers’ union Aslef and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) will walk out, causing huge disruption to services.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said the dispute would now continue until the Government intervened.

He urged Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan to ‘lift the shackles’ from train companies so they could make a pay offer to workers.

‘The message I am receiving from my members is that they are in this for the long haul and if anything they want industrial action to be increased,’ he said.

Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has indicated there is the possibility of a deal between rail firms and unions, but stressed any agreement ‘will require compromise’. 

Ms Trevelyan told Conservative members attending the party conference at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre that the ‘very last thing that the country needs right now is more damaging industrial disputes’.

Strikes on Wednesday: What you need to know 

Avanti West Coast – no services will run

c2c – industrial action will not impact services, but trains are likely to be busier than usual 

Chiltern Railways – no services will run

CrossCountry – no services will run

East Midlands Railway – no services will run

Great Western Railway – services will be ‘extremely limited ‘ between 7.30am to 6.30pm. Trains will only operate between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington; Reading and Oxford; and Reading and Basingstoke

Greater Anglia – commuters warned to  ‘avoid travelling with us’. Services to be severely reduced and disrupted. Most routes are unlikely to have train or bus replacements

LNER – customers urged to keep checking online for updates

Northern – no services will run

South Western Railway – industrial action will not impact services, but trains are likely to be busier than usual

Southeastern – no services will run 

Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express – industrial action will not impact services, but trains are likely to be busier than usual

TransPennine Express – ‘very limited service on some lines’. Customers urged to travel only for essential journeys

West Midlands Railway – no services will run

On rolling strike action, she said: ‘The more quickly we can resolve these disputes, the sooner all our efforts can be spent on getting our economy motoring at full speed.’

To applause, she added: ‘We want to transform the rail industry to make it sustainable for the next hundred years, so the very last thing that the country needs right now is more damaging industrial disputes.

‘My message to the trade union membership is simple: please take your seats at the negotiating table and let’s find a landing zone which we can all work with. Punishing passengers and inflicting damage on our economy by striking is not the answer.

‘I can tell you there is a deal to be done between the unions and our train operators, it’s a deal that will require compromise. So, I want to see positive proposals to bridge those differences.

‘I am asking industry to launch consultations on reforming our ticket office provision across the country.’

After a ‘huge increase in online ticket sales… only 12 per cent of transactions take place at ticket offices, so we need to be looking at ways to move with the trend’, she added

The train drivers’ strike will affect Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains, Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express), Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Northern Trains, Southeastern, Transpennine Express and West Midlands Trains.

Members of the TSSA will strike at CrossCountry and take other forms of industrial action at several other operators.

The TSSA is also planning industrial action on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at more than a dozen train companies and Network Rail will strike on Saturday.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel on Wednesday and allow extra time for their journey.

Train companies not involved in the strike will be running trains, but these are expected to be busy.

Services are likely to be disrupted in the early morning of Thursday as workers return to duties.

The disruption will affect football fixtures and the final day of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

Daniel Mann, director of industry operations at the Rail Delivery Group, said: ‘These strikes disrupt the travel plans of millions of passengers and undermine businesses who continue to struggle with rising costs and this continued action will only further damage the railway’s recovery.

‘While some rail companies are not involved in the strike, services are likely to be busy, severely disrupted or in some cases not running, so passengers should check the latest travel advice before setting off.

‘Passengers with advance, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strikes on 5 October can use their ticket on the day before the booked date, or up to and including 7 October.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef said that his members were increasingly angry at the lack of progress in the dispute

Britons have been warned to prepare for more travel chaos on Wednesday as staff walk off the job again as part of the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and work conditions

Members of the Aslef rail union stand outside Newcastle’s Central station holding signs saying they worked throughout the pandemic

‘Passengers can also change their tickets to travel on an alternate date or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.’

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: ‘We saw only last weekend that our strike action was rock-solid across the country. Our brilliant members remain determined to see their demands met in the shape of a just settlement.

‘We do not strike lightly but are prepared to dig in as we seek a fair deal on pay, job security and conditions in the face of cuts, economic collapse and a cost-of-living crisis at the hands of this chaotic Tory government.

‘With more strikes and wider industrial action in the offing this week, it’s time for ministers to get wise and act now to deliver a fair deal which will halt a winter of rail misery across the network.’

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: ‘It is incredibly disappointing that for the second time in five days we face disruption on our railways, with businesses once again being affected, thousands of people at risk of being unable to travel to work or school, and doctors’ appointments being missed.

‘Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation but all more strikes will do is punish the very people unions claim to stand up for and push passengers further away.

‘We urge union bosses to reconsider this divisive action and instead work with their employers, not against them, to agree a new way forward.’

Millions of travellers could also be left stranded over Christmas as militant union bosses pledge to ‘get creative’ with more walkouts 

Members of the TSSA and RMT unions stand on one of the many picket lines around the UK on October 1. Unions have warned staff are ‘in it for the long haul’ and will strike again on Wednesday

Signs at a picket line in central London today as around 50,000 rail workers walk out in a 24-hour strike

Planned strikes expected to continue into Thursday, Friday and Saturday 

The TSSA is also planning industrial action on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at more than a dozen train companies and Network Rail will strike on Saturday. 

Train companies not involved in the strike will be running as usual, but these are expected to be busy.

Services are also likely to be disrupted in the early morning of Thursday as workers return to duties.

Avanti West Coast – customers warned to only travel if absolutely necessary

c2c – ‘significant disruption’ expected. Trains to continue to run between 7.30am and 6.30pm

Chiltern Railways – customers warned to expect significantly reduced timetable 

CrossCountry – services will run on ‘significantly reduced’ timetable

East Midlands Railway – services to run only between 7.30am and 6.30pm

Great Western Railway – services will run, but they will be limited and start later and finish earlier. Customers are urged to check before travelling

Greater Anglia – commuters warned to  ‘avoid travelling with us’. Services to be severely reduced and disrupted. Most routes are unlikely to have train or bus replacements

LNER – customers urged to check relevant website for details of service levels each day until Sunday 9 October 

Northern – limited services will run, so customers are urged to only travel if absolutely necessary

South Western Railway – no decision yet. Customers told there will be updates in the coming days

Southeastern – limited services will run, so customers are urged to only travel if absolutely necessary

Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express – no decision yet. Customers told there will be updates in the coming days

TransPennine Express – ‘very limited service on some lines’. Customers urged to travel only for essential journeys

West Midlands Railway – ‘significant disruption’ expected. Trains to continue to run between 7.30am and 6.30pm 

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