Are there train strikes this month? Everything you need to know about August and September rail industrial action

The primary nationwide rail strikes because the Nineteen Eighties started in June 2022. The unions concerned are Aslef, representing train drivers, and the RMT – the most important rail uion. They’re concerned in parallel disputes with the 14 main English train operators over pay, jobs and working circumstances.

The federal government – which contracts the rail corporations to run trains – will log off the ultimate settlement. However the unions and administration seem as far aside as ever.

Each unions are demanding no-strings will increase that keep in mind the excessive stage of inflation. They are saying they’re ready to talk about reforms, however these have to be negotiated individually. They may count on any modifications to be accompanied by commensurate pay boosts.

Train operators and ministers insist modernisation is important following the collapse of rail income. A lot of the “bedrock” of season ticket gross sales has vanished because the Covid pandemic. The one means to award even a modest improve, the employers keep, is to fund it out of effectivity financial savings.

The RMT has thus far staged walk-outs on 33 days within the present wave of nationwide strikes, with Aslef stopping work on 11 earlier events.

Caught within the center: the long-suffering passenger. For over 14 months, nationwide rail strikes and different types of industrial action have scuppered the journey plans of tens of hundreds of thousands of train passengers. Stoppages have been referred to as steadily, inflicting huge disruption and making advance journey planning troublesome.

Aslef has a mix strike and time beyond regulation ban for the beginning of September. Train drivers will stroll out on Friday 1 September and refuse non-contractual time beyond regulation on Saturday 2 September – which can also be the date of the subsequent RMT strike.

These are the important thing questions and solutions.

Who’s taking industrial action, and when?

The train drivers’ union, Aslef, will stage a one-day strike on Friday 1 September and mount an time beyond regulation ban the next day. The RMT, says 20,000 RMT members throughout 14 train operators will stroll out for a second successive Saturdays on the finish of the summer time holidays, on 2 September

Why have these dates been chosen?

As with all industrial action, strikers search to trigger as a lot disruption as they’ll. With rail commuting sharply down because the Covid pandemic, leisure passengers now comprise the principle goal.

The RMT strike on Saturday 2 September, is designed to wreck the journey plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers, notably households coming back from holidays and soccer supporters travelling to matches. It would additionally hit travellers arriving again from abroad holidays by air, lots of whom would usually full their journey house by rail

The Aslef walk-out on Friday 1 September was introduced after the RMT strike was referred to as. The intention is to deepen the disruption to passengers.

Usually with a one-day strike, travellers will change to adjoining days; with two days through which tens of 1000’s of trains are cancelled, the stress on Thursday 31 August and Sunday 3 September can be much more intense.

The train drivers’ action may even hit weekenders attending a spread of smaller end-of-summer occasions, together with the British Nation Music Competition in Blackpool, the Sunset Competition in Norfolk and the Moseley Folks Competition in Birmingham.

Abroad guests arriving at English ports and airports for a weekend or longer keep may even be affected.

Sunday morning companies may even be hit. Southern, which runs trains in south London, Surrey and Sussex, warns: “We count on first companies to be extraordinarily crowded and you might not be in a position to board your chosen service. You’re suggested to begin your journey afterward within the morning.”

Which train operators are concerned within the nationwide disputes?

The RMT and Aslef strikes contain the 14 rail corporations in England contracted by the Division for Transport. They embody the main intercity operators:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Nice Western Railway
  • LNER
  • TransPennine Categorical

London commuter operators:

  • C2C
  • Higher Anglia
  • GTR (Gatwick Categorical, Nice Northern, Southern, Thameslink)
  • Southeastern
  • South Western Railway (together with the Island Line on the Isle of Wight)

Operators specializing in the Midlands and north of England:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Northern Trains
  • West Midlands Railway

Which trains will run in the course of the strikes?

The impression is troublesome to predict precisely, particularly on Saturday 2 September when the Aslef time beyond regulation ban will exacerbate the consequences of the RMT walk-out.

Aslef says of its 1 September walk-out: “The strike will power firms to cancel all companies in this nation.”

That isn’t true, however the stoppage can have extra impression than the RMT strike.

On each the strike dates, passengers can count on regular service on:

  • Caledonian Sleeper
  • Grand Central
  • Heathrow Categorical
  • Hull Trains
  • London Overground
  • Lumo
  • Merseyrail
  • ScotRail
  • Transport for Wales

Most of the trains that these operators are seemingly to be extra punctual than regular, as a result of so many different companies can be axed – lowering the prospect of congestion.

They might, nonetheless, be extra crowded on routes that duplicate strike-hit strains. Transport for Wales companies between Newport, Cardiff and Swansea, and between Crewe and Manchester, may very well be busier than regular.

The three “open entry” operators on the East Coast foremost line – Grand Central, Hull Trains and Lumo – are additionally seemingly to be busy.

On affected train operators, these are the seemingly service ranges. Please examine with operators shortly earlier than journey for the newest image:

Southeastern: No trains will run on 1 September (Aslef). The next day (RMT), most trains can be cancelled. The train agency says: “Solely 51 out of our 180 stations can be open.”

Hyperlinks wil run from London to Bromley South, Dartford and Sevenoaks, in addition to the high-speed line from London St Pancras Worldwide to Ashford Worldwide, Canterbury and Ramsgate, with decreased service hours.

Southern: No trains will run on the Aslef strike day. A much-reduced timetable will function on 2 September, the RMT strike day. Some stations is not going to be served.

Gatwick Categorical: Cancelled on each days of industrial action, however different Southern companies between London and the airport can be found (and less expensive) on Saturday.

Thameslink: No trains will run on the Aslef strike day. On the RMT strike day, the central London core between London Bridge and St Pancras Worldwide can be closed throughout all industrial action. On the remainder of the community, a much-reduced service will run between 7am and 7pm.

Southwestern: “Clients ought to solely journey if their journeys are completely mandatory,” the train agency says.

On all strike days, a skeleton community will hyperlink London Waterloo with Guildford, Southampton, Ascot and Hampton Court docket.

Nice Western Railway (GWR): “Many elements of the GWR community can have no service in any respect,” the agency says.

“Providers will solely function for a restricted interval, beginning later within the morning and ending a lot earlier within the night.”

A core service is probably going between London Paddington and Oxford, Cardiff, Tub, Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth on all strike days – although Devon companies could also be cancelled on the Aslef strike day (1 September).

CrossCountry: Aslef strike day: Few or no companies.

On the RMT strike day, a decreased community with nothing southwest of Bristol to Exeter, Plymouth or Cornwall. No trains will run north of Edinburgh.

Cardiff to Nottingham trains is not going to run, and the standard hyperlink from Birmingham to Stansted Airport will terminate at Peterborough.

Chiltern: The community can be decreased to a restricted service linking London Marylebone with Aylesbury, Banbury and Oxford on all strike days.

The impression can be heightened by the present closure, till 29 October, of the road between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury due to work on HS2.

West Midlands Railway: All trains cancelled on Aslef strike day. Restricted service on the RMT strike day.

Avanti West Coast: Aslef strike day: No companies.

On the RMT strike day, the fundamental sample to and from London Euston can be one train every hour to/from:

  • Manchester
  • Liverpool (through Birmingham)
  • Preston, with a restricted service onwards to Carlisle.

Northern: All trains cancelled on Aslef strike day. “Very restricted train service” on RMT strike days.

TransPennine Categorical: On the Aslef strike day, there could also be no companies.

On the RMT strike day, a really restricted variety of trains will run on the Manchester Piccadilly-Leeds-York-Scarborough route; between Preston and Manchester Airport; and between Sheffield and Cleethorpes.

East Midlands Railway: No trains will run on the Aslef strike day, 1 September.

For two September, the RMT strike day, the operator says: “Solely journey by rail if completely mandatory and if you do journey, count on extreme disruption.” However intercity companies and native hyperlinks are seemingly to be operated on the RMT strike day.

LNER: Aslef strike day: decreased service however common trains on core routes.

On the RMT strike day, LNER historically runs common companies on the London-York-Newcastle-Edinburgh route, with first departures round 7am and last arrivals round 10pm. London-Leeds companies will run roughly 7am-6pm.

Nice Northern: “An amended timetable with fewer companies will run. Providers can be busier than standard, particularly in peak hours. It’s seemingly you will need to queue and you might not be in a position to board your chosen service. It is best to permit further time to your journey.”

Higher Anglia: On the Aslef strike day, there could also be no companies.

On the RMT strike day: “Most routes can have a standard or near-normal service between 7am and 11pm.” This consists of the London Liverpool Road-Colchester-Ipswich-Norwich line, in addition to hyperlinks to and from Stansted airport.

What is going on about the London Underground?

The Underground, the London Overground and the Elizabeth Line are unaffected by the deliberate industrial action. However some routes that provide alternate options to rail companies hit by industrial action, comparable to in south London, could also be busier than regular.

Will Eurostar be affected?

No, however connections to and from the train operator’s foremost hub at London St Pancras Worldwide could also be troublesome due to industrial action in any respect three home train operators on the station (East Midlands Railway, Southeastern and Thameslink) serving the station.

Why is Aslef calling its members out on strike?

Mick Whelan, Aslef’s basic secretary, mentioned: “We don’t need to take this action however the train firms, and the federal government which stands behind them, have pressured us into this place as a result of they refuse to sit down and discuss to us and haven’t made a good and wise pay provide to train drivers who haven’t had one for 4 years – since 2019 – whereas costs have soared in that point by greater than 12 per cent.

“The federal government seems pleased to let passengers – and companies – undergo within the mistaken perception that they’ll bully us into submission. They don’t care about passengers – or Britain’s railway – however they won’t break us.

“We haven’t heard a phrase from the employers – we haven’t had a gathering, a telephone name, a textual content message, or an e-mail – since Wednesday 26 April, and we haven’t had any contact with the federal government since Friday 6 January. This exhibits how the contempt through which the businesses, and the federal government, maintain passengers and workers and public transport in Britain.

“They’re pleased to let this drift on and on. However we’re decided to get a good pay rise for males and girls who haven’t had one for 4 years whereas inflation has reached double figures. Our members, completely fairly, need to give you the chance to purchase now what they might purchase again in 2019.”

What does the RMT say?

The essential place as acknowledged by the final secretary, Mick Lynch, is: “Our industrial marketing campaign will proceed so long as it takes to get a negotiated settlement.”

However on the day of the latest RMT strike, Saturday 26 August, Mr Lynch wrote to the Rail Supply Group (RDG), representing train operators, with a extra conciliatory tone:, He mentioned: “I consider that each events are of the view that we need to navigate a means by way of the dispute.”

He outlined a “street map” that features:

  • Backdating a pay rise for 2022-2023, with negotiations for 2023-2024 to begin on 1 December 2023.
  • A assure of no obligatory redundancies.
  • Deferring additional discussions on altering working preparations till 1 December 2023 on the earliest.
  • “Workforce Reform” proposals ought to be negotiated with particular person train operators.

Mr Lynch mentioned: “The entire change agenda that the businesses want to suggest can be identified in full and then addressed appropriately by way of the respective machineries in every of the businesses.”

What do the train operators say?

A spokesperson for the RDG, representing train operators, mentioned in response to the RMT proposals: “Whereas we welcome any try to resolve this dispute and we’re all the time open to talks, sadly each the content material and the timing of this provide on the eve of strike action it’s too late to avert – suggests it’s not a severe try to transfer ahead.

“Our honest and inexpensive provide, value 13 per cent to the bottom paid, stays on the desk and we urge the RMT management to permit their membership a vote on it.”

Of the Aslef strikes, the spokesperson mentioned: “The union management has its head within the sand and refuses to put our honest and affordable provide to their members.

“The provide would improve the typical driver base wage for a four-day week with out time beyond regulation from £60,000 to almost £65,000 by the tip of 2023.

“We would like to give our workers a pay improve, nevertheless it has all the time been linked to implementing mandatory, wise reforms that might improve companies for our clients.

“We urge the Aslef management to acknowledge the substantial monetary challenges going through the rail trade and work with us to obtain a extra reliable and sturdy railway system for the long run.”

What does the federal government say?

A spokesperson for the Division for Transport mentioned: “The federal government has facilitated honest and affordable pay affords. Nonetheless, union bosses are opting to delay this dispute by blocking their members from having a vote on these affords – we proceed to urge that members are given their say, and disruption is introduced to an finish.”

I’ve a ticket booked for a day hit by strikes. What can I do?

Passengers with Advance, Anytime or Off-Peak tickets can have their ticket refunded with no charge if the train that the ticket is booked for is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.

Train operators are seemingly to provide flexibility to journey on a variety of non-strike days.

Passengers with season tickets who don’t journey can declare compensation for the strike dates by way of Delay Repay.

What are the alternate options?

As all the time, long-distance coach operators – Nationwide Categorical, Megabus and FlixBus – will preserve working, although seats have gotten scarce and fares are rising.

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