Passengers on rail services operated by West Midlands Trains are facing disruption today, as rail workers strike in a long-running dispute over guards on trains.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on West Midlands Trainswalked out for the first in a series of 24-hour strikes on the next fewSaturdays - hitting some of the busiest Christmas shopping days.
Picket lines are mounted outside stations, and fewer trains than normal are running.
Network Rail advises passengers to:
Plan your journey
Check before you travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk
Know the times of your trains home
Extra staff will be on hand at Birmingham New Street station on Saturday to help passengers safely make their journeys to and from the station.
The upcoming strikes on West Midlands Trains will take place on:
Saturday 23rd November
Saturday 30th November
Saturday 7th December
Saturday 14th December
Saturday 21st December
Saturday 28th December
"RMT members are standing rock solid and determined this morning across the West Midlands Trains franchise as we fight to put the safety-critical role of the guard at the platform/train interface, and the safety and accessibility of the travelling public, before the profits of the train operator. "The inevitable and serious disruption to services today is wholly down to the company and their refusal to agree to the safest possible means of operation.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Trains said:
We are very disappointed this action by the RMT is going ahead. A strike benefits nobody and will inconvenience businesses and thousands of local rail users.