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Virgin Trains to run as planned on Monday and Tuesday

Credit: PA

Virgin Trains has reinstated normal services on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 May following the cancellation of strike action by members of the RMT and TSSA unions.

The planned industrial action by members of the RMT and TSSA unions that work for track and infrastructure operator, Network Rail has been suspended.

"As a result of this Virgin Trains will now be running its originally timetabled services on the West Coast Mainline on both Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 May.

"This refers to Virgin Trains services on the West Coast, for Virgin Trains East Coast please click here.

"Please note that the planned engineering work to be conducted by Network Rail between Saturday 23 and Monday 25 will go ahead as planned so customers travelling on these dates are still advised to check before they travel."

– Statement, Virgin Trains


  1. National

TSSA rail union suspends Bank Holiday strike action

The TSSA - one of the two rail unions - planning strike action over the Bank Holiday has suspended the action after receiving a new pay offer from Network Rail.

One of the rail unions planning strike action has suspended its plans. Credit: PA Wire

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association were due to walk out for 24 hours from 5pm on Monday.

But after talks with Network Rail, Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA, confirmed that the union had suspended the action,

The RMT, which represents most Network Rail employees, is still to announce if the strike is going ahead.

  1. National

'Deal could be close' to avert planned rail strike

ITV News' Business Editor Joel Hills has learned that Network Rail has tabled a new pay offer to RMT, Unite and TSSA unions in a bid to avert next week's planned strike.


Virgin Trains cancels services on Monday and Tuesday

Virgin Trains will not run any services on the West Coast mainline on Monday and Tuesday Credit: PA

Virgin Trains has cancelled all its West Coast mainline services on Monday and Tuesday ahead of an anticipated strike by Network Rail workers over the Bank Holiday.

Members of the RMT and TSSA unions have voted for a 24-hour strike, starting at 5pm on Monday, amid an ongoing dispute over pay.

In a statement on its website, Virgin Trains said that if the strike goes ahead as planned, then no services will run on either the 25 or 26 of May.

If this industrial action goes ahead, there will be no Virgin Trains services running on the West Coast Mainline on either Monday 25 or Tuesday 26 May.

If the industrial action is called off, some services will be reinstated but we cannot be specific at this stage.

Customers planning to travel on the affected dates will need to make alternative arrangements. If you are planning to travel on Sunday 24 or Wednesday 27 we recommend that you check before you travel for more information on how your journey may be affected.

– Statement, Virgin Trains

A spokeswoman for the company told ITV News that East Coast services - which are run by a different operator - would continue on a reduced timetable, and advised customers to check for the latest updates before travelling.

She said bosses were monitoring talks between Network Rail and the unions to see whether the situation may improve.

Anyone with tickets for those dates can use them for either the Sunday or Wednesday, in line with any restrictions on the tickets bought.

The full statement, as well as details about how to get a refund, are available on the Virgin Trains website or by calling 0344 556 5650.

Serious injury to Borders Railway worker

Work has now resumed on the railway Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Work has resumed on the £353 million Borders Railway, after a serious injury to a worker last Tuesday.

The 49-year-old man from Irvine, in Ayrshire, was unloading concrete railway sleepers when he was struck on the leg.

He was transferred from Borders General Hospital to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for emergency surgery following the accident.

Work on the site at Galashiels was suspended while investigations took place, but resumed on Monday.

The accident is not expected to delay the overall construction of the railway, which is due to open to passengers in September next year.

"In terms of impact on the overall programme, it will be negligible.

We are working closely with our main contractor BAM to support our colleague and his family.

The incident is currently under investigation and it would be inappropriate for Network Rail to comment on the circumstances of the incident further at this time. The project team took the voluntary decision to stand the site down for the remainder of the week to allow a full investigation and review to take place. However, our teams returned to work on Monday."

– Spokesman, Network Rail

Children using drama to learn railway safety

Network Rail have found a novel way to teach children about rail safety.

Children from Langlee Primary in Galashiels have been using somewhat unusual methods to learn about the dangers of playing on rail tracks, using music and dance to get the message across.

"The message has been absolutely brilliant, they have made it really clear for the children because it has all been done through drama and, obviously different kinds of movement.

It is sort of imbedding it in the learning. They are just so excited but they know the message know which is so vital."

– Marion Romeril, Teacher Langlee Primary School

While work on the £350million project is continuing this scheme will reach out to other children in the area.

So far one and a half thousand children from fifteen different primary schools have had a session like this one, in the hope of reducing unnecessary casualties.

"Sadly people die on the railway every year from trespass related accidents and that is something we want to try and address from, even before we start running trains on the route, on the Borders Railway line."

– Craig Bowman, Network Rail

The line is expected to open in the autumn of next year, and the people behind this scheme hope the children will continue to remember what they have learned.

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