Train passengers warned of disruption on the rails this week due to strike action tomorrow

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Only around half of Britain’s rail network will be open on Wednesday

Rail passengers are being warned of severe disruption on train services due to strike action this week.

Only around half of Britain’s rail network will be open tomorrow (Wednesday) as a result of industrial action, with disruption predicted on Thursday as well.

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On the East Coast Mainline tomorrow thousands of specially-trained and fully qualified back-up staff will step in during the walkout - which has been called by the RMT union - to keep vital services running for those who need them. But with less than half of usual services planned to run between London and Edinburgh via Peterborough, York and Newcastle, passengers are asked to only travel by train if they must.

Peterborough Railway StationPeterborough Railway Station
Peterborough Railway Station

Simon Pumphrey, East Coast Infrastructure Director for Network Rail said: “This Wednesday, passengers travelling on the East Coast Main Line will face a limited train service due to the ongoing industrial action.

“I’d urge those who absolutely need to travel by train to plan ahead, check their journey and expect significant disruption. I can only apologise for the impact that this will have on people’s plans.”

The strikes are taking place in a row over pay. Industrial action also took place earlier in the summer.

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RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Network Rail have not made any improvement on their previous pay offer and the Train Companies have not offered us anything new.

“In fact Network Rail have upped the ante threatening to impose compulsory redundancies and unsafe 50% cuts to maintenance work, if we did not withdraw our planned strike action.

“The train operating companies have put driver only operations on the table along with ransacking our members terms and conditions.

“RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will not be bullied or cajoled by anyone. "

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Steve Montgomery, Chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We are incredibly disappointed that the RMT and Aslef leadership are continuing with this action, disrupting the summer plans of millions – including those attending the Commonwealth Games.

“While we will do all that we can to minimise disruption to passengers, our advice is to only travel if it is necessary, and if you are going to travel, please plan ahead. If you’re not able to travel, you can use your ticket either the day before or up to and including 2 August, otherwise you will be able to change your ticket or claim a refund.

“We have a responsibility to bring our railway up to date and give our passengers a more punctual and reliable service so that we’re able to give our staff the pay rise they deserve. But it is wrong to continue asking taxpayers to shoulder more of the burden when they have already contributed £600 per household during the pandemic, or to expect passengers to fund it by paying more for their tickets, when they too are feeling the pinch.

“We ask the RMT and Aslef’s leadership to continue talking so we can come to a deal that works for our people, our passengers and for taxpayers.”

On Saturday 30 July, train drivers at eight train operating companies have planned strike action.

Further RMT strikes are also planned for 18 and 20 August.