In Focus

When are the next rail strikes and which lines are affected?

Thousands of rail workers are walking out during two days of industrial action this week

Only 20% of UK train services are expected to run today after union leaders rejected a “paltry” 4% pay rise.

As 40,000 RMT members prepared to walk out in the first of two strikes in what the BBC described as “a week of pain for travellers”, the union accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of preventing the rail industry from agreeing a deal.

The Department for Transport hit back by claiming the RMT was “hell-bent on creating further misery for passengers across the UK”.  Network Rail accused the union of “walking away” from talks.

Further rail strikes are planned for August, with staff from Network Rail and 14 train operating companies walking out, unless the row over pay, jobs and working conditions is resolved.

The latest walkouts follow three days of industrial action in June. The strikes left “huge swathes of Britain without any rail services”, bringing the transport network “shuddering to a halt”, said The Telegraph.

How many services will run?

Only about a fifth of standard services  are running today, and “some parts of the country will have no rail services”, according to the Network Rail website. All train operators will be impacted and further disruption is expected tomorrow,  “due to the knock-on impact of industrial action on shift patterns”.

The companies affected by the RMT strike are Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, Southeastern, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and Govia Thameslink Railway (which includes Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express).

Transport for London (TfL) has said that most tube services will run as normal, but some lines that use the Network Rail track will be impacted.

When are the next strikes?

Train drivers at seven rail companies and around 5,500 workers in total will walk out in a separate strike on Saturday 30 July. The affected companies will be: Arriva Rail London, Great Western, LNER, Greater Anglia, Southeastern, Hull Train, and West Midlands Trains.

Most TfL services will run, but no London Overground services are expected to operate.

Are more train strikes planned?

RMT workers will strike on Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August. Services are also likely to be disrupted on 19 August.

“We do not take strike action lightly, but enough is enough,” said Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association. “The Conservative government is the clear block to a deal for rail workers.”

London Underground staff are also planning to strike on 19 August, in a row over jobs and pensions.

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