When are the upcoming rail strikes and which routes will be affected?

Credit: PA

A fresh round of rail strikes in the run-up to Christmas and New Year have been announced by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).

More than 40,000 members of the RMT will stage a series of 48-hour strikes in a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Here's what we know so far.

When will strikes take place?

It is understood that Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will down-tools on:

  • December 13 and 14

  • December 16 and 17

  • January 3 and 4

  • January 6 and 7

Disruption can also be expected on the days followings strike action, particularly on December 15 and January 5.

There will also be an overtime ban across the railways from December 18 until January 2, meaning RMT be taking industrial action for four weeks.

Network Rail and train operators had been scheduled to discuss the impact of the ban.

This could mean crews wouldn't work on rest days over the festive period, a time when services will already be impacted in some regions due to engineering works.

How have previous strikes affected rail networks?

Previous strikes throughout the year have resulted in only around 20% of normal train services running.

Routes up and down the UK faced disruption as more than 40,000 RMT members partook in industrial action.

Rail workers are again walking out over jobs, pay and conditions.

Who is striking?

Rail workers from 14 different train operators and Network Rail will be walking out over the festive period.

Those joining in with industrial action will involve train drivers, ticket staff and crucial signalling staff, whose absence is likely to mean only a minority of services will run on main lines while smaller lines will have no trains at all. 

Credit: PA

In addition to the strikes in December and January, there is also industrial action scheduled for November 26.

The following providers are affected by the strikes in late November:

  • Avanti West Coast

  • Chiltern Railways

  • East Midlands Railway

  • Great Western Railway

  • Greater Anglia

  • Heathrow Express

  • ​​​​​​​London Northwestern Railway

  • Southeastern

  • TransPennine Express​​​

  • Stansted Express

  • ​​​​​​​West Midlands Railway

  • CrossCountry

  • Elizabeth line

  • LNER

  • London Overground

  • Northern

What is RMT saying?

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."

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch. Credit: PA

He added: “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.

“We call upon all trades unionists in Britain to take a stand and fight for better pay and conditions in their respective industries.

“And we will seek to co-ordinate strike action and demonstrations where we can.

“Working people across our class need a pay rise and we are determined to win that for our members in RMT.”

What has the government said?

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Strike action risks putting the very future of the entire industry in jeopardy.

“These strikes are not only damaging the economy but they’re cutting off people in need of urgent care, children going to school and hardworking families.

“The rail industry is facing serious financial challenges and is in desperate need of vital reforms to address them. We once again urge union leaders to work with employers and come to an agreement which is fair for passengers, taxpayers and workers alike.”

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