Aslef strike sees all Southeastern trains suspended as most of Kent cut off from rail network

Watch: Affected passengers in Canterbury share their thoughts on the train strike

An entire county has been almost cut off from the rail map as drivers represented by the Aslef union walkout on strike.

Southeastern workers are taking part in the industrial action over pay and working conditions alongside 12 other operators across the country.

It is the second walkout by drivers within a week after Aslef members walked out alongside colleagues from the RMT and TSSA unions on Saturday 1st October.

The strike action has seen the network suspend all trains with people in Kent only able to use Southern trains from a handful of stations including Ashford International, Appledore, Ham Street and Edenbridge.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said the dispute will continue until the Government intervenes Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Mick Whelan, Aslef General Secretary, said: "We would much rather not be in this position. We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing our labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand." 

The union argues its members are having to take a real terms pay cut while inflation runs at 12%.

Daniel Mann, director of industry operations at the Rail Delivery Group which represents train operators, said: "These strikes disrupt the travel plans of millions of passengers and undermine businesses who continue to struggle with rising costs and this continued action will only further damage the railway’s recovery. 

"While some rail companies are not involved in the strike, services are likely to be busy, severely disrupted or in some cases not running, so passengers should check the latest travel advice before setting off."

The ASLEF train drivers' union is one trade union taking strike action in early October Credit: PA Images

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

Those affected by the mass walkout on 5 October can use their advance, off-peak or anytime tickets on the day before the booked date, or up to and including 7 October.

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

More information is expected ahead of the other strikes in October.

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

Further strike action

More than 40,000 RMT members from Network Rail and 15 train operating companies will walk out again on Saturday 8 October, "effectively shutting down the railway network".

The following companies are involved:

  • Chiltern Railways

  • Cross Country Trains

  • Greater Anglia

  • LNER

  • East Midlands Railway

  • c2c

  • Great Western Railway

  • 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.