The rail industry is reminding passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary on 8 October, as the publication of the reduced timetable confirms around 20 per cent of rail services will be in operation amid further strike action by members of the RMT union.
Network Rail said that thousands of specially trained and fully qualified back-up staff will once again step in during the walkouts to keep vital services running for those who need them, as they have done for all previous strike days. But disruption is unavoidable, and passengers are asked to only travel if absolutely necessary.
Trains that do run will start later in the morning and finish much earlier in the evening, and there will be no trains at all across parts of the network.
Passengers are also advised that there is likely to be some disruption in the early morning of Sunday 9 October as workers return to duties.
Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, said: “Despite our best efforts to compromise and find a breakthrough in talks, rail unions remain intent on continuing and coordinating their strike action. This means railway staff forgo even more of their pay unnecessarily, passengers’ lives are disrupted once again and the railway’s recovery from the pandemic is further damaged.
“We’re asking passengers who want to travel this Saturday to only do so if absolutely necessary. Those who must travel should expect disruption and make sure they check when their last train will depart.”
Daniel Mann, director of industry operations at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “These strikes continue to disrupt leisure travellers, shift workers and undermine the many businesses who are struggling with rising costs and reduced footfall. Further action by the RMT and TSSA leadership will only damage the railway’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We want to give our people a pay rise, but we need the leadership of trade unions to make a commitment to reform, which is how we can improve services and deliver a fair deal for our people, passengers and for taxpayers.
“While some rail companies are not involved in the strike, services are likely to severely disrupted as around one in five trains will be running, so passengers should check the latest travel advice before setting off. Passengers with advance, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strikes on 8 October can use their ticket on the day before the booked date, or up to and including 11 October. Passengers can also change their tickets to travel on an alternate date or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.”
Alongside the national strikes, industrial action will take place for some train operators today and tomorrow (Thursday 6 and Friday 7 October), and Monday 10 October:
Strike action is affecting East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway and Heathrow Express on 6 and 7 October, whilst industrial action affects ScotRail on 10 October.
For specific train operator service information, visit National Rail or the train operating company.