Rail strikes: How to get trains to Castle Cary for Glastonbury Festival 2022?

Festival-goers from all over the country usually pile into Castle Cary Station in Somerset to get to Glastonbury Festival

People traveling to Glastonbury Festival by train could face severe disruption due to rail strikes happening this week.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators will walk out for three days this week.

It has been dubbed the biggest railway strike in a generation, with organisers saying it is due to disputes over pay and jobs.

How will the rail strike impact Glastonbury Festival?

Thousands of people normally travel to Glastonbury Festival by train, arriving at Castle Cary before getting a shuttle bus to the site.

This year, strike action is planned for two days of the festival. While trains will be maintained between London and Castle Cary, other routes may not be running at all and people are being urged to check their journeys online and consider alternative ways to travel.

Here's a breakdown of planned strike action for each day of the festival...

Wednesday 22 June - no strike action planned

The gates to Glastonbury Festival 2022 open at 8am on Wednesday 21 June and there is no industrial action planned on this day.

Thursday 23 June - strike action planned

Many people choose to arrive at Glastonbury Festival on the Thursday of the event, ahead of music starting on the Friday.

While strike action is planned across the UK on this day, Great Western Railway (GWR) - the main provider for the South West - says it plans to maintain all timetabled trains between London Paddington and Castle Cary.

GWR is operating just five services from London Paddington to Castle Cary on Thursday, with a total of 24 between Wednesday and Friday.

Before the industrial action was announced, 51 trains were expected to run on the route over the three-day period.

GWR told passengers: “We plan to maintain timetabled trains between Castle Cary and London Paddington throughout the course of the Glastonbury Festival.

“Some services might be subject to alterations to train times and we will be in contact with customers who have already booked seats on board those trains.”

It added: “Other parts of the GWR network are likely to be more affected by the strike action and customers may need to consider alternative ways to travel to a station serving Castle Cary.”

Friday 24 June - no strike action planned

People arriving at the festival on the Friday should face little to no disruption, with trains expected to run as normal.

Saturday 25 June - strike day

While the majority of people attending Glastonbury Festival will already be on site, for anyone arriving late or leaving early their journeys may be impacted by strike action.

While routes between London and Castle Cary will be maintained, travel to and from other cities by train may not be possible.

People are being advised to check their journey online before travel.

Sunday 26 June and Monday 27 June - no strike action planned

There is no strike action planned on either the Sunday or Monday of Glastonbury Festival, meaning people's journeys home are unlikely to be impacted although trains will still be busy.

What are the rail strikes about?

The strikes are taking place due to growing rows over pay and job losses.

The RMT said rail staff who worked through the pandemic were facing pay freezes and hundreds of job cuts - leading to union members voting overwhelmingly for action last month.

Brendan Kelly, a Regional Organiser for RMT said: "Whenever a national strike of this nature takes place it will impact on events in society. That's unavoidable I think.

"You could pick any week in the year probably you'd have other events that were going to be scheduled for that week. So it's not targeting, it's not a particular reason.

"We have a mandate. We did go into negotiations to see if there was a way forward. Those have not been successful sadly. The industry have not come forward with anything favourable really."

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