Christmas train strikes: Travel chaos as festive cancellation dates announced
23 November 2022, 14:02
When are the train strikes over Christmas and what routes are affected?
Christmas travel plans are expected to be thrown into chaos after rail union RMT has announced a series of 48-hour strikes across December and January.
Passengers could face train cancellations, delays and disruptions over the festive period due to a long-running dispute over jobs, wages and conditions.
Over 40,000 Rail, Maritime and Transport union members spanning across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies have confirmed industrial action will take place on the lead up to Christmas and into the new year.
With rail workers urging the public to direct "anger and frustration at the government and railway employers", we reveal the train strike dates, plus information on how to check if your train is affected.
When are the Christmas train strikes starting and when do they end?
With plans for 48-hour strikes over the festive period, the RMT has confirmed the following dates:
- Tuesday 13th December
- Wednesday 14th December
- Friday 16th December
- Saturday 17th December
- Tuesday 3rd January
- Wednesday 4th January
- Friday 6th January
- Saturday 7th January
There will also be a total ban on overtime from Sunday 18th December until Monday 2nd January, meaning rail services are likely to be scaled back.
Can I still travel during the train strike?
Railway bosses have issued advice in light of the planned strikes, with many operators urging passengers only to travel if "absolutely necessary".
On strike days, just one in five trains are expected to run.
Trains that are running are likely to be exceptionally busy as many routes will have reduced timetables, and some will have no services at all.
Make sure you check your train provider's website for up-to-date information before you travel.
Which train companies will be affected by the strike?
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- Cross Country Trains
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
- Greater Anglia
- London North Eastern Railway
- Northern Trains
- South Western
- Transpennine Express
- West Midlands Railway
- GTR (including Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express)
What have the unions said about the strikes?
In a statement, the RMT said: "Despite every effort made by our negotiators, it is clear that that the government is directly interfering with our attempts to reach a settlement. The union suspended previous strike action in good faith to allow for intensive negotiations to resolve the dispute.
"Yet, Network Rail have failed to make an improved offer on jobs, pay and conditions for our members during the last two weeks of talks."
RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said: "This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the running of this country and will send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay and conditions for our people.
"We have been reasonable, but it is impossible to find a negotiated settlement when the dead hand of government is presiding over these talks.
"The employers are in disarray and saying different things to different people sometimes at the same time. This whole process has become a farce that only the new Secretary of State can resolve. When I meet him later this week, I will deliver that message.
"In the meantime, our message to the public is we are sorry to inconvenience you, but we urge you to direct your anger and frustration at the government and railway employers during this latest phase of action."
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