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South Western Railway: Disruption for commuters as strikes to go-ahead

Credit: PA

Next week's two day strike by guards at South Western Railway will go ahead after peace talks failed to resolve the dispute.

The RMT union is taking action because the company will not guarantee the future safety role of guards on trains.

The action will mean 700 trains will be cancelled on the busiest commuter network in Europe next Wednesday and Thursday. Buses will replace trains on some routes. All stations will see fewer trains.

The company hope to run around sixty per cent of services using managers working as guards. 650,000 passengers face disruption.

The RMT say SWR is refusing to guarantee safety critical guards will be kept on every train and will be safety trained.

We are disappointed that despite re-stating all our previous commitments that we will have more jobs not less, that we plan to retain a second person on every train, and guaranteeing salaries and terms and conditions, the union executive is going ahead with this unnecessary strike which will damage both our passengers and staff."

– South Western Railway spokesperson

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Weekend of chaos for rail passengers

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There will be disruption through Reading this weekend Credit: ITV Meridian

Tens of thousands of rail passengers across the Thames Valley are facing a weekend of chaos.

Engineering work means many services through Reading will be cancelled.

It's to allow further testing of overhead wires ahead of an extension to commuter services next year.

Limited replacement buses will run, but will be very busy.

Tickets bought for Saturday or Sunday will be accepted all day today and Monday

Passengers are advised not to travel unless they have to.

Major rail disruption on services into Waterloo

Credit: ITV Meridian

There is major disruption on railway services between Reading and Waterloo and Windsor and Waterloo this morning due to a signalling problem between Putney and Barnes.

Disruption is expected to continue until approximately 11am.

The following services were cancelled earlier this morning:

  • London Waterloo to London Waterloo via Twickenham and Brentford
  • London Waterloo to London Waterloo via Brentford and Twickenham
  • London Waterloo to London Waterloo via Kingston and Twickenham
  • London Waterloo to London Waterloo via Twickenham and Kingston
  • Between London Waterloo and Weybridge
  • Between London Waterloo and Windsor and Eton Riverside
  • Between London Waterloo and Reading

Lines have now reopened, but trains may still be cancelled, delayed or revised.

Credit: ITV Meridian

South Western Railway advise passengers not to travel between Reading and London Waterloo and Windsor and London Waterloo.

Passengers are able to use their ticket on the following routes:

  • London Underground via any reasonable route
  • Great Western Railway services between Reading and London Paddington
  • TFL buses via any reasonable route
  • Southern services between Clapham Junction and London Victoria

South Western Railway start ballot for strike action

Credit: ITV Meridian

Hundreds of guards at South Western Railway have begun voting in a strike ballot in protest at driver only operation.

The RMT says the new company has plans to change the role of its members.

The union say safety will be at risk.

SWR says it has no plans to cut staff but hasn't ruled out changes to working practices.

The ballot result is due later this month.

Credit: ITV Meridian

New fleet of 'congestion busting' trains launched today

They're being described as "the ultimate weapon" to cut overcrowding on the busiest rail routes in the country. With space for almost 1,100 people to stand and more than 550 to sit the first of a new generation of 150 congestion busting train carriages went into service on the Windsor to Waterloo line today. The carriages are designed for short distance routes and will allow others they replace to transfer to longer distance routes to increase badly needed capacity. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

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