Explainer

Train strikes: When in October are they, which rail services are affected, and are Tubes running?

Neil Connery speaks to commuters and unions outside Euston as more strikes dates are set


Thousands of railway workers are set to strike again this month, threatening huge disruption to train services.

A series of mass walkouts has sparked travel misery across the country in recent months, but there has been no resolution, despite ongoing talks between unions and the rail industry.

As well as disruption on strike days, services could also be impacted before and after due to the knock-on effect. People are urged to plan ahead and only travel if necessary.

Read on to find when the next train strikes are, and if your journey is affected.


At a glance: Which unions are striking and when?

8 October: Members of RMT, and TSSA (at Great Western Railway)

10 October: Members of RMT are taking strike action on ScotRail

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT union, has written to the government. Credit: PA

Saturday 8 October

More than 40,000 RMT members from Network Rail and 15 train operating companies will walk out on Saturday, "effectively shutting down the railway network".

The following companies are involved:

  • Chiltern Railways

  • Cross Country Trains

  • Greater Anglia

  • LNER

  • East Midlands Railway

  • c2c

  • Hull Trains 

  • Northern Trains

  • South Eastern

  • South Western Railway

  • Transpennine Express

  • Avanti West Coast

  • West Midlands Trains

  • GTR (including Gatwick Express)

TSSA members at Avanti and c2c will also strike on this day.

Significant disruption is expected. Credit: PA Images

Will the strike action affect train services in Scotland and Wales?

While some of these are separate disputes, there is likely to be widespread disruption as a result of the strikes, including in Scotland and Wales.

ScotRail has warned that there will be "very limited services" on 8 October, as well as the evenings before and the mornings after.

Meanwhile, members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at ScotRail are planning to walk out on October 10 in a dispute over pay.

ScotRail said the action will have "significant consequences" for its services, adding that will update customers in the coming days.

Services in Scotland and Wales will be impacted by the strikes. Credit: PA Images

Transport for Wales (TfW) has advised against travelling on major strike days, due to a "very limited service" operating.

The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended on 8 October.

TfW has also warned of possible disruption before and after each strike.

Will London tubes be affected by the strikes?

Transport for London (TfL) warned its services will be affected by the strikes, with limited Bakerloo services running between Queens Park and Harrow & Wealdstone and limited District services running between Richmond and Turnham Green on October 8. There will be no District services between Wimbledon and Earls Court (due to planned works).

A reduced service will also be running on the Elizabeth line on October 8 - more information can be found here.

Most of the public transport network will operate as usual, but customers are advised to check before they travel and leave more time for journeys

Trish Ashton, TfL's director of rail and sponsored services, said: "Customers will still be able to travel during these strikes, including using the bus network, but we strongly advise them to plan ahead and check before they travel.

"There is expected to be disruption on some of London's rail services, with small parts of the Tube also affected."

While there will be public transport options across London, people are advised that walking or cycling may be quicker for some journeys.

Some of London Underground and the Elizabeth line will be affected by the strikes. Credit: PA Images

Can I get a refund on my ticket or change my journey due to the strikes?

Passengers can change their tickets to travel on an alternate date, or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.

It is always best to check direct with your service provider if you are not sure of your rights.

Planned rail strikes will cause widespread disruption right before Christmas. Credit: PA

Why are rail workers taking strike action?

The increasingly bitter dispute is centered on pay, jobs and conditions.

Unions are calling for a salary increase, saying workers are facing a real-terms pay cut and are increasingly struggling to make ends meet due to the cost of living crisis.

Network Rail says it is offering an 8% pay rise over two years, along with other benefits.


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What strikes have already happened?

Saturday 1 October

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), ASLEF, Unite and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) staged a co-ordinated walkout on October 1.

This strike action caused rail issues for people travelling to the the Conservative party conference in Birmingham as well as for people visiting the capital city for the London Marathon on 2 October.

It was the first time the unions had walked out on the same day, so services were significantly impacted compared than on previous strike days.

Wednesday 5 October

ASLEF members walked out, again in an ongoing dispute over pay, and TSSA members at CrossCountry also walked out on October 5.

Thursday 6 October

TSSA members at Great Western Railway took strikes action on October 6.