Over the last 24 hours most rail operators within the UK have published advice to their passengers covering the upcoming rail strikes, with some providing detailed timetables of upcoming services. This comes as an attempt to ensure those who rely on the consistent train services across the nation are able to mitigate potential travel related issues.
The strikes are set to begin this coming week on the 21st June, running for three concurrent days which culminates on the 25th June and will have negative affects on nearly all train operators and routes. Disruptions are expected to be worsened as signallers and various other positions of Network Rail staff are set to accompany the walk outs.
Thirteen operators on the national network are expected to be affected. These are:
Avanti West Coast
Cross Country Trains
East Midlands Railway
Great Western Railway
South Western Railway
West Midlands Trains
Trains will still be running throughout the upcoming period but will start running from a later than usual and finishing earlier, from 7:30am to 6:30pm. Only a fifth of regular services are expected to run, with further disruptions on non-strike days being expected as a result. These disruption swill stem from many trains not being in the correct positions at the start of each day following the strikes.
London tram drivers are also expected to be staging two 48-hour strikes on the 28th-29th June and the 13th-14th July, with the London Underground expected to be disrupted by the strike action on the 21st June.
Whilst many operators are going to attempt to run limited services on the majority of main lines across the UK, some parts of the country will see no trains at all. An example of this can be seen through Great Western Railway not running services west of Plymouth on strike days, which will culminate in all lines through Cornwall to be closed. Greater Anglia will not be running trains on many of its regional routes and branch lines, leaving places like Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Sheringham, Clacton and Felixstowe unserved.
Whilst Transport for Wales staff will not be striking, the TfW are advising people not to travel using their services on the strike days, as Network Rail walkouts will affect signallers in Wales. This is echoed through ScotRail warning that domestic services within Scotland will also face ‘significant disruption.’
Network Rail is deploying emergency substitutes where possible, but it said as they are a ‘fraction of the usual workforce, only a severely limited service will be available.’
Where trains do run, they will operate at most between 07.30 and 18.30, but last trains may depart several hours earlier than that so that they can return to depots. More detailed timetables are due to be published before the weekend.
The upcoming rail strikes will have catastrophic consequences for the sector as well as passengers with their regular commutes to work. It is vital that further action must be avoided so that the industry can revert to normality and provide dependent passengers the services they need for daily commutes.