Train operators warn of 'severe disruption' ahead of strike action

Great Western Railway (GWR) is expecting rail services to be ‘severely affected’ next week due to planned industrial action by train unions.

Industrial action by the RMT, Aslef and the TSSA unions is due to take place on Wednesday, July 27 and Saturday, July 30.

GWR is predicting its services to be impacted, with a ‘significantly reduced’ temporary timetable in place. 

An ‘extremely limited’ service will operate between 7am and 6.30pm on both days, with the last trains leaving much earlier.

No services will run before 7am on non-strike days.

Services on either side of the strike days, up to and including Sunday, July 31, will also be affected due to the timing of the strike action.

Passengers are advised to look for alternative ways to travel during this period and to only travel if ‘absolutely necessary’.

With train drivers striking on Saturday, July 30, GWR is expecting to operate even fewer services on the second of the two days of strike action.

Customers who have already purchased tickets can amend their ticket or claim a full refund and those who travel and are delayed may be entitled to compensation if they experience a hold-up of 15 minutes or more.

Season ticket holders can apply for compensation through Delay Repay.

Where GWR can run services, they are expected to be ‘extremely busy’ and the train operator is unable to provide bus replacement services.

The rail operator is allowing those with tickets on the two days of strike action to travel on the day before or up to and including Tuesday, August 2.

South Western Railway (SWR) has also urged people to only travel by train if ‘absolutely necessary’ on Wednesday, July 27.

It said customers should expect ‘severe disruption’ and it will be running a ‘severely reduced’ timetable with ‘significant parts’ of the network closed.

SWR’s reduced timetable with be in operation from 7.15am to 6.30pm on strike days, and will consist of four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Windsor via Hounslow. 

Trains will not stop at all stations on the routes and there will be no SWR services across the rest of the network.

There is ‘significant disruption’ also expected on Thursday, July 28 when there will be a late-starting service.

First trains on the day will be operating ‘much later’ than usual and customers should check in advance before they travel.

The RMT has announced more strikes will be taking place on Thursday, August 18 and Saturday, August 20 and SWR will be publishing information on this in due course.

Claire Mann, South Western Railway’s managing director, said: “The scale of the planned industrial action limits the number of trains we can run and routes we can serve, resulting in the severely reduced service we are able to operate on the strike days.

“We urge customers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary on Wednesday, July 27, and to check before you travel on Thursday, July 28, as we will be running a late-starting service due to the disruption of the strike the previous day.  

“We are sorry that strikes will again cause such disruption, and we are grateful to our customers for their continued cooperation, patience and understanding as the rail industry works to end this damaging nationwide strike action.”  

For the latest information on the strike action visit GWR and SWR’s websites at www.gwr.com/strike and www.southwesternrailway.com/strike 

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