The ASLEF union has announced there will be a strike by train drivers next month, that will likely see most train services cancelled.

The one-day strike will affect 16 train companies across England on Friday 1st September, but there will also be an overtime ban on the following day, Saturday 2nd September, which will likely severely affect the train company’s ability to restore services following the strike.

The Saturday disruption will also be magnified by an RMT strike on the same day.

So the likely effect is hardly any trains for two days.

The 16 companies affected include:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • c2c
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Gatwick Express
  • Greater Anglia
  • Great Northern
  • Great Western Railway
  • Island Line
  • LNER
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • Southern
  • South Western Railway
  • Thameslink
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “We don’t want to take this action but the train companies, and the government which stands behind them, have forced us into this place because they refuse to sit down and talk to us and have not made a fair and sensible pay offer to train drivers who have not had one for four years – since 2019 – while prices have soared in that time by more than 12%.”

“The government appears happy to let passengers – and businesses – suffer in the mistaken belief that they can bully us into submission. They don’t care about passengers – or Britain’s railway – but they will not break us.”

Ticketing and refund information

Customers with Advance, Anytime or Off-Peak tickets for travel on a strike day can instead use their ticket on an alternative date:   If the ticket is for a journey that includes the London Underground, it will not be valid on London Underground services on an alternative date.

Passengers with Advance tickets can be refunded fee-free if the train that the ticket is booked for is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.

If the Advance ticket is for a train scheduled for a strike day, but it is not cancelled, delayed or rescheduled, and a customer prefers not to travel, they should contact their ticket retailer.

Customers with 2 x Advance tickets (an outbound and a return), to be used as a return journey, may be able to get a fee-free refund or change of journey for any unused legs/tickets, if either of the legs is scheduled for a strike day. Customers should check with their ticket retailer.

Season Ticket holders (flexi, monthly or longer) who cannot travel, can claim 100% compensation through Delay Repay for the strike dates.

Weekly season ticket holders can claim Delay Repay if their train is delayed or cancelled on the day.

In the event of a Do Not Travel message:

Operators will contact customers with assistance booked for affected services (such as those cancelled)


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  1. Steven Foster says:

    It is morally repugnant that publicly paid workers , meanings doctors and rail workers,are dragging the public into their political games.Collective bargaining used to imply the concept of compromise.They could get reasonable pay deals and talk about the other problems.The rap workers will suffer as more people realise that they have made trains so unreliable,cuts sooner or later will be enevitable.The doctor has settled in Scotland so why couldn’t they in England.I thought doctors were supposed to relieve suffering not increase it ( patients not seen and operations cancelled).Shame on them.

    • ChrisC says:

      The vast majority of rail workers are employed by private companies.

      The problem is that the government and the train operators (following their instructions) have deliberately entwined pay discussions with discussions on changes to working practices.

      They are the ones blocking compromise by insisting on that.

  2. C Benjamin says:

    It is morally repugnant that workers are expected to settle for below inflation rises and for their terms and conditions to be attacked and for this to be called political. The DFT could have settled this dispute but would rather remunerate the TOCs despite the fact it would have cost less to settle the dispute.

  3. D limm says:

    Has a shop worker I find it hard to believe that train drivers etc find that £40.000 a year is in possible to live on and there actions cause me to miss events I have saved all year to enjoy do you honestly think that government ministers with private drivers payed for by the tax payers honestly give a damm stop targeting hard working people

    • ChrisC says:

      The ‘etc’ aren’t on £40k.

      The people like station and platform assistants are going to have a salary not much different from a shop worker.

      And the dispute is not just about pay. The government is trying to make out the dispute is but it isn’t.

      It’s also about changes to working and other conditions being imposed without negotiation and which would result in a worse service to passengers (such as ticket office closures).

      It’s about issues such as the train operators only being able to run a full weekend service using voluntary overtime because they havn’t bothered to employ eneough drivers with weekend workign in their contract so they don’t have to rely on staff working overtime.

  4. Keith says:

    @ChrisC: ‘D limm’ appears to be specifically referring to the train drivers, not the other railway workers. Also, the ASLEF strikes are primarily related to the train drivers and this article is about the train drivers strikes.

    Whereas, the separate UNITE strikes are about the things you mentioned. I imagine some people have more sympathy towards the UNITE workers striking than the ASLEF workers for this reason.

    • ChrisC says:

      They used ‘etc’ which to me means all other rail workers.

      Unite isn’t involved here. You mean the RMT.

      The Aslef strikes ARE also about changes to working conditions and other changes and not just about pay.

  5. Drew says:

    At this point, most people don’t really care about their strikes. They’ve ‘over-striked’ ti the point that it’s barely noticeable now. These aren’t life and death jobs, they’re just driving a train for crying out loud.

  6. Down Mitcham says:

    Sadly both parties are now in a death spiral. The Govt cannot give in now as if they did it would be seen by the public as another big nail in the Tories failing Govt coffin. The unions cannot give in as if they did their members would turn on Lynch & Wheelen saying we have lost a years wages for nothing. Fighting the elected Govt always ends badly as scargill’s miners found out. 😔😔

  7. Reaper says:

    The Unions insist that, amongst other examples of gross overmanning, that it requires up to 8 people, mostly men, are required to move a single electrical plug when in the real world the entire task would be undertakne by one person in half the time. The railworkers should look at the dockers, shipyards and the miners if they want to see what their fate will be or they can look at the car workers and see what their future could be.

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