Commuters are bracing for rail chaos this week as the railway, maritime and transport workers’ union (RMT) and ticket sales union TSSA walk away from coordinated train strikes, bringing Britain’s rail and underground networks to a horrifying standstill.
Major transport links are expected to be extremely disrupted on the main strike day – Saturday, August 20.
Most rail operators are also warning passengers not to travel on strike days and to plan ahead on Sunday 21 as disruptions continue.
Here is the latest timetable information from operators on the RMT and TSSA strikes.
How will the underground strikes affect London’s overground and underground services?
London above ground
RMT and Arriva staff departed on Friday, August 19, and reduced service is expected at the Overground or Night Overground on Saturdays between 8am and 6pm.
Transport for London warned that on Friday evening, August 19, and Saturday morning, tube services will be running very limited or not at all.
It reads: “TfL expects severe disruption on all London Underground lines on Friday, August 19, with little to no services during the day due to RMT’s strike action. There will also be no Night Tube or Night Overground service from Friday evening. Customers are advised not to take the metro and to travel only if it is essential on the rest of the network.”
Which trains run on strike days?
Avanti west coast
Avanti West Coast advises customers to travel on Saturday 20 August only if absolutely necessary.
During the union action on 20 August, the company will operate one train per hour from Euston to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Preston, with a limited service to Glasgow. The first train leaves before 8 a.m. and the last one mid-afternoon.
North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh have no services. Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke-on-Trent and Runcorn stations are closed.
On strike days, a limited service runs on the c2c route from 07:30 to 18:30, approximately one third of the normal service. There are two trains per hour from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness and via Rainham to Pitsea. There are no trains through Ockendon or Chafford Hundred.
Full service will resume from 8am on Sunday, August 21, although passengers should be prepared for any disruptions.
Chiltern advises customers that they will offer an extremely limited service, with no replacement bus service.
On Saturday 20th there are two trains per hour from Marylebone to High Wycombe and one train per hour to Aylesbury via Amersham. There is no service north of High Wycombe and there is no replacement bus service.
On Sunday 21 there will be no trains before 9am and engineering work is planned throughout the day between High Wycombe and Bicester, and also between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury, with replacement buses on some routes.
CrossCountry will offer an extremely limited service on strike days.
On Saturday 20 August, trains will only run between Derby and Edinburgh and between Southampton Central and Manchester Piccadilly.
East Midlands Railway
On Saturday 20 August, there will be one train per hour between London to Nottingham and Sheffield. There will be one train per hour from Derby to Matlock and Derby to Nottingham. All other lines of the route will be closed.
London’s newly launched Elizabeth Line service is warning passengers to expect reduced train service.
All Gatwick Express trains are canceled on RMT strike days.
The network does not yet have an updated timetable for Saturday 20. Passengers are advised to check the network’s website.
Great Northern and Thameslink
On strike days, there are two trains per hour to both Bedford and Luton from St Pancras International.
One train per hour runs between London King’s Cross and Ely, and an additional train runs once an hour between Cambridge and Ely. There will also be one train per hour between King’s Cross and Cambridge, with two per hour for journeys from King’s Cross to Peterborough, Welywn Garden City and Stevenage via Hertford North.
Great Western Rail
On Saturday 20th there will be no train services on the following routes: in/out Bristol Temple Meads; between Bristol Temple Meads to Swindon; between Bristol and Gloucester; between Bristol and Taunton; between Cardiff Central and Bath Spa; all lines in Cornwall, including all branch lines; west of Newton Abbot (change at Exeter) towards Plymouth/Cornwall; all branch lines in Devon (Barnstaple, Exmouth, Paignton, Okehampton); South Wales Main Line (Carmarthen/Swansea-Cardiff Central); Berks & Hants line (between Reading-Westbury); Wessex main line (Bath Spa-Portsmouth Harbour); Heart of Wessex line (Westbury-Weymouth); TransWilts Line (trains run non-stop between Swindon and Westbury); Severn Beach Line (Bristol Temple Meads-Severn Beach); North Cotswolds line (Hereford/Worcester-Oxford); South Cotswolds Line (Cheltenham Spa-Swindon); Worcester/Gloucester; Greenford branch; North Downs Line (Reading-Gatwick Airport).
Some morning services will be canceled on Sunday, August 21, while the network advises passengers not to travel on Saturday, August 20.
The services will be available on August 20 between 7:30 AM and 6:10 PM.
There are services between Doncaster and London Kings Cross and only between 07:30 and 18:30.
Normal service will be provided as there is no strike action.
There is only a limited service between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh twice an hour and once an hour between London and Leeds on strike days.
London Northwestern Railway
On 20 August there will be a limited service from Birmingham to London Euston via Northampton and Birmingham to Crewe via Wolverhampton. Trains start at 7:33 AM and services end at 6:10 PM.
Lumo runs a reduced service on Saturdays with three trains a day from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh and vice versa.
On 20 August, Merseyrail will be hit by staff shortages, with an hourly service only operating between 07:30 and 18:30 at selected stations.
There are no trains from Chester, Rock Ferry and Ellesmere Port and there are no trains on the Hunts Cross line.
On 20 August there will be an hourly service on the Liverpool to Manchester route – and on Leeds to York, Ilkley, Skipton, Sheffield and Bradford. There are no trains before 07:30 or after 18:00.
All other routes do not run.
ScotRail staff are not involved in the dispute, but more disruption is expected. Two trains per hour are expected between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High, Helensburgh, Inverkeithing, Tweedbank. One train per hour is expected between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Shotts.
Two per hour are expected between Glasgow and Hamilton and Lanark. One train per hour is expected from Glasgow Queen St to Larbert and Falkirk Grahamston. There are two trains per hour between Milngavie and Springburn.
Services take place between 7:30 AM and 6:30 PM.
Trains only run between 07:15 and 18:30 on strike days between London Waterloo to Woking, Basingstoke and Southampton and London Waterloo and Windsor and Eaton Riverside. All other main and branch lines are not running.
On Saturday, August 20, passengers will be warned to travel only if absolutely necessary. Only 44 of the 180 stations will be open. There are no rail replacement bus services for closed stations. Charing Cross and Cannon Street will be closed on both strike days. There will be no trains in southeastern Victoria on strike days.
A less frequent service runs between London Bridge and Sevenoaks. Trains will also serve London Bridge-Dartford via the Greenwich, Blackheath and Sidcup branches. There are no trains east of Dartford or south of Sevenoaks.
The first high speed train from Ashford to London St Pancras via Ebbsfleet departs at 07:45. The last train to London leaves at 4:30 PM. In the opposite direction, the last departure from London is at 5:30 PM.
The last trains back to London will also run much earlier than usual, and passengers will also not be able to board trains on limited service, especially at Ashford and Ebbsfleet.
South and Thameslink
On Saturday 20 August, there will be two trains per hour between London Victoria and Brighton, serving only Clapham Junction, East Croydon and Gatwick Airport.
There will be two trains per hour between London Bridge and Brighton serving major stations including Three Bridges, Haywards Heath and Hassocks.
Likewise, there will be two trains per hour between London Bridge and Gatwick Airport; and between London Bridge and Three Bridges.
There will also be limited service between London Victoria and Sutton, Epsom Downs and West Croydon.
A very limited service will run on Saturday 20 August, with just five departures from Preston to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport during the day. These start at 8.45am and the last one leaves Preston at 4.50pm. In the opposite direction, the last train leaves Manchester Airport at 5:10 PM.
One train per hour runs between Manchester Piccadilly and York. There are only two trains between Newcastle and Edinburgh. On both strike days, between 07:30 and 16:20, five trains run between Cleethorpes and Sheffield.
Transport for Wales
There will be no trains on Saturday 20 August, except for an “essential journey only” service between Cardiff Central and Treherbert, calling at Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare.
A second “essential journey only” service will run once an hour between Cardiff and Newport.
There are no other trains. There are no track replacement buses.
West Midlands Railway
There is one train per hour from Birmingham to Northampton between 07:30 and 17:15. Trains from Northampton to London Euston run twice an hour between 07:40 and 16:40.
Trains in the opposite direction run at similar times, the former departing Euston at 07:30 and the latter departing north from Northampton to Birmingham at 5.30pm.
There is one train per hour between Lichfield Trent Valley and Redditch; one train per hour between Lichfield Trent Valley and Bromsgrove one way, while from 5pm departures from Lichfield Trent Valley run only as far as Birmingham New Street.
Additional morning services run between Birmingham New Street-Redditch and Birmingham New Street-Lichfield Trent Valley.
There is one train in each direction between Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street, serving all local stations, and one train per hour in each direction between Birmingham New Street and Crewe.
Services to and from Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International, as well as between Birmingham New Street-Northampton, run hourly in both directions.