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Aslef back down over 12-car dispute after GTR obtain injunction

The High Court has awarded an injunction to Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) forbidding their drivers from refusing to drive their new 12-car trains in an ongoing industrial dispute.

GTR applied for the injunction, which was awarded on Friday, after Aslef drivers refused to drive the new 12-car Gatwick Express driver-operated only (DOO) trains, saying the absence of a guard put passenger safety at risk.

Aslef has now complied with the injunction by instructing all its members to drive the trains pending further legal proceedings or lawful industrial action.

A spokesman for GTR said: “We are pleased that the Court has granted us an injunction that ASLEF must not induce our drivers to refuse to operate the new 12 car trains. Gatwick Express services have operated without conductors operating the doors for seventeen years, so we were never able to understand why the ASLEF Union objected to the operation of these new trains in the same way.

“We took this action with great reluctance but were left with no alternative by the approach of the Aslef union. In respect of the other disputes presently ongoing, we hope this ruling will influence the trade unions to come back to the negotiating table and avoid going ahead with any unnecessary and damaging strike action on this or any other issue.”

GTR said that by June 50% of weekday services will operate with 12-car trains.

Train conductors for Southern, which is owned by GTR, have voted in favour of striking in protest at the expansion of DOO trains. The first set of 24-hr strikes is due to start tomorrow at 11am.

(Image c. Andrew Matthews)


Andrew Gwilt   26/04/2016 at 22:47

Would it be better if Gatwick Express made a deal to have 10-car trains to be used on the London Victoria-Gatwick Airport & Gatwick Airport-Brighton semi-fast/direct services with a 5 carriage to be added to all 27 Class 387/2's that would be ideal for Gatwick Express to have 10-car trains.

David   29/04/2016 at 10:26

No Andrew, it wouldn't be. 12-car trains have been running on the Brighton Line for years anyway. Don't forget that Class 442 carriages are longer so that 2 x 442 units is equivalent to 3 x 4-car Electrostar.

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