Which lines are affected by this week’s rail strikes?

Travel chaos ‘far from over’ as thousands of train staff walk out

Departure boards show cancelled train services
Further strike action has been planned for August
(Image credit: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)

Only 20% of UK train services are expected to run today as 40,000 railway workers are due to walk out on the first of two strike days this week.

“The summer of travel chaos” is “far from over”, said The Telegraph’s employment editor Lucy Burton. Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are taking part in industrial action today and on Saturday as a dispute with the government over pay and job cuts continues.

In a letter to Grant Shapps yesterday, the union’s general secretary Mick Lynch expressed his concern over the Transport Secretary’s “continued insistence on prolonging the rail disputes for political reasons by refusing to meet the RMT”.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

In July, Shapps called for the RMT “and indeed all unions to stop holding the country to ransom with the threat of further industrial action”, ITV reported. The latest walkouts follow two strike days in July and three days of industrial action in June.

How many services will run?

Only about a fifth of standard services will be running today and on Saturday, and “some parts of the country will have no rail services”, according to the Network Rail website. All train operators will be impacted and further disruption is expected tomorrow, “due to the knock-on impact of industrial action on shift patterns”.

The companies affected by the RMT strike, as well as by members of the Unite union and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), are: Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, Southeastern, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and Govia Thameslink Railway (which includes Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express).

Transport for London (TfL) has said that most Tube services will run as normal, but the London Overground, Elizabeth, District and Bakerloo lines will be impacted. A separate TfL strike will take place tomorrow affecting most Tube, Overground and bus services. Avoiding travel on the network is advised.

Are more train strikes planned?

There are no rail strikes planned beyond this Saturday, but “the unions, the government and Network Rail are yet to come to any agreement over the key issues they disagree on”, said Simply Business, meaning there could be more strikes in the coming months.

With a new prime minister set to take office on 5 September, the site said ending rail service disruption “is likely to be high on their to-do list”.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.