Passengers reminded to plan journeys in advance and only travel by train if absolutely necessary on 18 and 20 August

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The rail industry is working hard to keep a limited number of trains running despite upcoming strike days, but passengers are being reminded that some parts of the country will have little or no rail services.

Thousands of specially-trained and fully qualified back-up staff will again step in during the walkout to keep vital services running for those who need them.

Repeated coordinated strike action by the RMT and TSSA unions will create severe disruption for passengers with only about a fifth of services running on around just half of the network on Thursday 18 and Saturday 20 August. Passengers are asked to only travel by train if it is absolutely necessary, allow extra time and check when their last train will depart.

Passengers are also advised that there is likely to be some disruption in the early morning of the day after each strike – Friday 19 August and Sunday 21 August – as workers return to duties. There will also be disruption on Friday 19 August due to a strike on the London Underground.

The 24-hour walkout will affect: Avanti West Coast, c2c, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, GTR (including Gatwick Express), Hull Trains, LNER, London Northwestern, London Overground, Northern, Southeastern, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, West Midlands Trains, Heathrow Express and Stansted Express.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “It saddens me that we are again having to ask passengers to stay away from the railway for two days this week due to unnecessary strike action, when we should be helping them enjoy their summers. We have made a good and fair offer but, with the exception of our TSSA management grades who accepted the deal, our unions are refusing to let our employees have a say, and sadly that means more disruption on the rail network.

“We’ll run as many services as we can on Thursday and Saturday, but it will only be around a fifth of the usual timetable, so please only travel if absolutely necessary and if you must travel, plan ahead and check when your last train will be.”

Steve Montgomery, Chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said: The leadership of RMT and TSSA are imposing yet more uncertainty on passengers and businesses by disrupting passengers’ travel plans.

“While we will do all that we can to minimise the impact and to get people where they need to be, passengers should only travel by rail if absolutely necessary and be aware that services may start later the morning after strikes. If you’re not able to travel on 18 or 20 August, you can use your ticket either the day before or up to and including 23 August, otherwise you will be able to change your ticket or claim a refund. 

“The railway is vital to this country, but with passenger revenue still 20% below 2019 levels, securing a strong future means we have to change and move with the times. Only then can we fund the pay rise we want to give our people, while delivering the more reliable Sunday services and improved punctuality our passengers deserve.”

Passengers with advance, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strike on 18 and 20 August can use their ticket either on the day before the date on the ticket, or up to and including Tuesday 23 August. Passengers can also change their tickets to travel on an alternate date or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.  

Passengers with a season ticket that is monthly or longer or who have an activated days’ worth of travel on a flexi season ticket who choose not to travel on 18 or 20 August, can claim compensation for these days through the delay repay scheme.  If you need to travel on the 18th or 20th and already have a ticket, please check with the train company you booked to travel with in advance of your journey for advice on what to do with your ticket. 

If your local operator is impacted by industrial action, you should check journey planners on National Rail Enquiries or operator websites to find alternative route options. 

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