Commuters face huge queues as South Western Railway strike begins

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Commuters faced huge queues today as a strike by South Western Railway got underway.

Video: Twitter/@adammnjones

Members of the RMT union are walking out for five days in the long-running dispute over guards on trains.

Commuters into London Waterloo station were among passengers affected, as well as people heading to Royal Ascot. Buses replaced trains on some routes.

RMT members are standing rock solid again this morning on South Western Railway in the long-running fight for safety, security and access on our trains while the private train company sends out the signal that it is prepared to gamble with their passengers well-being in the name of profit. RMT has campaigned relentlessly for the principle of putting safety on the railway first and the current stalemate over the safety-critical role of the guard on SWR trains cannot be allowed to drag on any longer.


There were chaotic scenes at some stations, with long queues and packed platforms.

One of the biggest queues was at Surbiton, where some passengers said they were told to return after 11am because so many people were trying to get into the station.

Passengers between Egham and Staines faced further delays because of a swan on the railway line.

Thousands of commuters shared their experiences of the travel disruption on social media, with footage showing queues spilling out of Surbiton station in south-west London, and a long way down the street.

It's very disappointing that despite having had dates in the diary for what we hoped would be further constructive talks, the RMT union decided to call disruptive strike action over the course of five days. The RMT has always said it wanted us to keep the guard on every train which is what we have offered as part of a framework agreement.

South Western Railway