Rail strikes next week are likely to see as much as 80% of train services cancelled for most of the week, the rail industry is warning.

There are two 48-hour strikes taking place on 3rd/4th and 6th/7th January called by the RMT union, and a strike on the 5th January by the Aslef union.

The Rail Delivery Group expects that on RMT strike days, around half of the network will shut down as RMT signal staff walkout, with only about 20% of normal services running, and on the 5th January, there could be even fewer services running than that as the Aslef strike will affect 15 train companies.

The Aslef strike on 5th January will affect the following train companies.

  • Avanti West Coast;
  • Chiltern Railways;
  • CrossCountry;
  • East Midlands Railway;
  • Gatwick Express;
  • Great Western Railway;
  • Greater Anglia;
  • Great Northern;
  • London North Eastern Railway;
  • Northern Trains;
  • Southeastern;
  • Southern;
  • South Western Railway (depot drivers only);
  • SWR Island Line;
  • Thameslink;
  • TransPennine Express;
  • West Midlands Trains.

Train companies are already warning that people should avoid travelling unless necessary during the RMT stike days, and likely don’t travel at all on the Aslef strike day.

Meanwhile, the RMT has an overtime ban in place at 14 train operating companies until 2nd January that will continue to affect the level of cancellations and the punctuality of some services. This action may particularly affect those travelling out of London late in the evening on New Year’s Eve and passengers are advised to plan their journey in advance.

Ticketing and refund information

  • Tickets for 3rd to 7th January can be used the day before the date on the ticket, or up to and including Tuesday 10th January.
  • There is also likely to be some disruption in the early morning of Sunday 8th January as workers return to their duties.

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.

Customers with tickets for long distance operators, particularly where seat reservations are required, can obtain a refund and rebook onto an alternative service. Trains running on days either side of strike days are likely to be extremely busy and a seat cannot be guaranteed. Customers are advised to check with their operator before travelling.


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  1. Peter Hardy says:

    The unions simply don’t seem to care about the longterm damage they’re doing to the railways, passengers and the impact it will have on issues like climate change and social mobility.

    Covid already left railways heavily indebted and with less revenue, now what little income they get must go to massive unaffordable wage increases leaving none for investment, maintenance or service improvement.

  2. Stephen says:

    The extremely wealthy executives who are more interested in having a p***ing contest with their employees and preserving their own bonuses don’t seem to care about the long term impact their behaviour is having on the future of the railways, the travelling public or climate change.

  3. Ray Webster says:

    It’s about time the unions are brought to task over there shameful strike action along with the nurses ,postal you name it they have all jumped on the shit shovel demanding higher wages we are all suffering and struggling some more than others post COVID is proving one thing nobody gives a toss about anything or anyone dog eat dog and forget about the rest screw the unions

    • Jane says:

      I think you will find there is much more skill to train driving than you seem to think. And nurses train for years, and are universally appreciated. Neither should have to resort to food banks. Food banks! Warm spaces! This
      cruel government has bought this country to its knees . The unions are right and have the right to strike. We should be supporting them all. The money could be found. Liz Truss wasted how many hundreds of millions of pounds? Millions more pounds were wasted on useless contracts during the Covid crisis – all redundant payments to their already wealthy cronies. So, saying the money is not there is a nonsense. The front line workers kept this country going during the pandemic,or is your memory that short. We discoveted then who was crucial to keeping the cogs turning. It had huge impact on these people’s mental and physical health. If there is so much money available to waste, then money can be found to make these workers’salaries in line with inflation, and this seems only fair. Personally, I’d like to see a nation-wide general strike to bring this government down. Or a coup.

    • John Morgan says:

      You Truly are a Complete Muppet, its High Time all These Workers Strike and stick it to the Government. Have You even Bothered to Research why All Of these strike are Taking Place in the First Place.

      NHS Staff are Striking For The for the best Reason of All An Organisation with Health in It Should Follow Health and Safety laws and allow Staff a Right to a Break when they work long hours without any breaks.

    • Shame on them says:

      I simply cannot comprehend the depth of the flawed reasoning that leads one to the conclusion that because I am weak enough to grovel for a minimum wage that I cannot afford to live on,,, everyone else should work for nothing too!
      This country is being torn apart by this belief system that the poor are to be abused.
      Good luck to everyone who is striking and striving for a better life for the people of this country.

  4. Fred says:

    more money for pushing a lever forward and pressing a button to open and close doors, Jesus I wish I had been thick enough to become a train driver.
    Sorry can’t go outside its the wrong weather, lets strike.
    Bet the union bosses who call the strike are still getting paid when those on the picket line are not.

  5. Matt Sawyer says:

    I see the right wing bots have reached even this blog

  6. Brexitman says:

    What is it with Mick Grinch (Bob Crowe’s lovechild). Doesn’t he realise that more strikes mean less revenue for the rail companies which means cutbacks which means no big pay rises for his militant members. I think if rail staff go on strike they should lose a week’s wages for everyday they are out. If the great lady Mrs T(God bless her)was still here running the country, there wouldn’t be any strikes.

  7. LM says:

    The strikers are selfish – rail workers do not give a toss about the public or situations where for emergency requiring people to travel. Usual unions stirring up trouble. They are intent on bringing down the Givetnmfnt with the help of Labour/ communist. The rail workers don’t pay to commute like the rest of the world.

    A recent recruitment package gave free travel to the worker & spouse. Very hard done by.

    Strikes are nit a resolution

  8. Gareth Vaughan says:

    Strikes are only a symptom of bad management.

    • John Morgan says:

      The Working Class are Tired of Being taken for mugs while the Fat cats and Shareholders Get big Bucks

      Worker are the Most important part of any business Keep them Happy Before paying off Shareholders

  9. Bethan Davies says:

    When does these train strikes finish? We are all struggling from nurse’s, I work 12 hour shift 5 times a week because I’m struggling to live, and each time ppl like me,that depends on trains to go to work have to catch 6 o clock bus so I can be in work by 7.45, it costing me more plus when you ain’t on strikes the train is cancelled because of staff issues…. this needs to stop it not fair for the people like us working to pay our bills and we are struggling because of this.

  10. Linda Freeman says:

    Railway staff have become rude, obnoxious and lazy. They don’t deserve a penny more.As for nurses etc is it not their Job to help sick people.?

  11. ChrisC says:

    From the sheer ignorance and rabid right wing comments from some posters I appear to have to have wandered into the daily mail / express comments section rather than Ian Visits.

  12. TheSaddler says:

    Reading all this it is clear it is generally split, I am part of a Union however my union have not gone on strike.. I do support why both Nurses and Rail staff ate striking. This all comes down to support, what support do they have. Equal pay is a dream from both national and living wage. Everyone is struggling those more than others. The cost of living rockets and the peoples pockets are left empty while the rich get richer.

    So I do support the strike action, but there are consequences to strikes, which effect everyone. Strike action has alway been away for people to have a voice, I understand many now see this as a greed. This would not have possibly happened if the cost of living gets worse and worse.

    I ask this question where does this leave us as a nation, the strikes continue, everything comes to a halt. Does that mean in time every person will go on strike, would there be support for people then when this happens? There are always two sides to any story.

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