Biggest rail strike in 30 years expected to go ahead next week

RMT union members at network rail striking alongside 13 train companies

Members of the RMT Union at Network Rail are set to walk out across three days next week alongside employees at 13 train companies - Credit: PA Wire

The biggest rail strike in 30 years is predicted to bring the UK’s rail network to a standstill next week, as thousands of staff stage a three-day walkout.

Though talks continue in an effort to avert crippling strikes, a last-minute deal doesn't look likely at present.

Should this deadlock continue, next week could be marked by a level of travel chaos not seen since British Rail staff walked out for six weeks in 1989. 

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail are set to walk out on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - June 21, 23 and 25 - alongside workers at 13 train companies.

This will lead to the cancellation of thousands of services, and disruption on the days in between the strikes.

The first day of the action coincides with a separate walkout planned by TfL staff in a row over jobs and pay on the London Underground, with around 50,000 workers expected to strike.

Commuters waiting for London Underground services to resume following RMT strikes on June 6, 2022

Commuters waiting for London Underground services to resume following RMT strikes on June 6, 2022 - Credit: PA

Speaking at a briefing today - June 15 - Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “Talks have not progressed as far as I had hoped and so we must prepare for a needless national rail strike and the damaging impact it will have."

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Passengers are being warned to take into account that the level of service will be "significantly compromised", and are being advised to only travel if it is absolutely necessary.

Half of Britain’s rail lines will be closed during next week’s strikes, the company confirmed, with services to start later and finish earlier than usual due to lines only being open between 7.30am-6.30pm.

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There will be a reduced service between 7.30am-6.30pm, equating to less than a third of normal service levels.

There will be two trains per hour from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Laindon, and from Fenchurch Street to Pitsea via Rainham, and no trains will run via Ockendon or Chafford Hundred.

Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia will be running a very limited service on some routes to and from London Liverpool Street, with one train an hour to Norwich between 8.30am-4.30pm.

The will also be one train an hour on the Colchester to London Liverpool Street stopping service, with trains only running between 7.30am-5pm.

There will two trains an hour between Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street during the strikes.

Full timetables will be made available on the Greater Anglia website from Friday (June 17).

Thameslink

On Thameslink, two trains an hour will call at St Pancras International, Kentish Town, West Hampstead Thameslink, and Cricklewood en route to Luton.

One train per hour will call at Finsbury Park on the King’s Cross to Ely service.

Stations including Harringay, Hornsey and Alexandra Palace will also be served - albeit at a reduced level - by trains running from King's Cross to Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage respectively.

Across the country, there will be no passenger services serving places like Penzance, Bournemouth, Swansea, Holyhead, Chester and Blackpool, while there will also be no passenger trains running north from Glasgow or Edinburgh.

The number of passenger services on the strike days is expected to be limited to about 4,500 compared with 20,000 normally.

Only about 12,000-14,000 services will be able to run on the days following the strikes because signallers and control staff will not work overnight shifts that begin on the strike dates.