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Rail Strikes in the UK: Network Rail Warns Passengers About Train Services Disruptions

Rail Strikes in the UK: Network Rail Warns Passengers About Train Services Disruptions
photo: Network Rail/Rail Strikes in the UK: Network Rail Warns Passengers About Train Services Disruptions
18 / 11 / 2022

On Saturday 19 and Monday 21 November, RMT members at the Thames Valley Signalling Centre (TVSC) including signallers, shift signaller managers, electrical control operators, and level crossing keepers will go on strike resulting in a period of disruption for rail passengers between Saturday 19 and Tuesday 22 November.

The TVSC at Didcot Parkway plays a critical role in the safe and reliable running of trains between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, Westbury, South Wales, and Cheltenham and Gloucester, meaning this strike action will particularly affect passengers in the South West, West of England, Oxfordshire, Thames Valley, and the Cotswolds.

Rugby union Autumn Internationals - Saturday 19 November

Passengers on Great Western Railway (GWR) services from the West and South West attending the England vs New Zealand test match at Twickenham (17:30 kick-off) are told not to travel by train as there will be no services traveling West to Reading and onwards to the South West after the match. South Western Railway (SWR) is similarly advising passengers not to travel to the match by train from Reading, Earley, Winnersh, or Winnersh Triangle stations. Services to the match from other stations on the SWR network will be unaffected.

Rugby fans attending the Wales vs Georgia test match at the Principality Stadium (13:00 kick-off) looking to return towards Bristol and other parts of western and southern England are advised to do so immediately after the match ends. A queuing system will be in place and customers for England are advised to join the queue as soon as possible. Services between Cardiff and Swansea will continue to operate after 18:00.

Train service overview

Differently from the previous strike action, the whole of the Western route will remain open on the two strike days, albeit with limited service. Services in Devon and Cornwall including branch lines will continue to operate at a near-normal frequency. A normal CrossCountry service will be available for most of the day but will not be able to operate at Bristol or Reading after 18:30.

A limited GWR service will run on the following routes between 07:30 and 18:30 unless otherwise stated:

  • London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads
  • London Paddington and Swansea: after 18:30 trains run between Cardiff Central and Swansea only
  • London and Bristol Parkway/Cardiff
  • London Paddington and Hereford/Worcester
  • London and Plymouth: after 18:30 trains run between Westbury and Plymouth
  • Cardiff and Portsmouth Harbour: after 18:30 trains run between Westbury and Plymouth
  • Cardiff to Taunton/Plymouth: after 18:30 trains run between Weston-super-Mare and Taunton/Plymouth
  • Westbury to Swindon via Melksham
  • Bristol Temple Meads to Gloucester/Worcester/Great Malvern: after 18:30 trains will only operate to/from Gloucester
  • Between St Austell and Penzance all-day
  • Devon and Cornwall branch lines to operate as normal
  • Westbury and Weymouth all-day
  • London Paddington and Oxford/Didcot
  • Twyford and Henley
  • Slough and Windsor
  • Maidenhead and Marlow
  • Reading and Basingstoke
  • Reading and Redhill.

The Elizabeth line will operate between London Paddington and Reading between 07:30 and 18:30, while services to and from Paddington through central London will operate all day.

Network Rail’s interim Western route director, David Davidson, said: “I’d like to sincerely apologize to passengers for this latest disruption. It's really disappointing that the RMT has decided to call this needless strike action which will severely impact passengers over a four-day period, starting this Saturday 19 November.

“This strike action will have a significant impact on passengers traveling from the South West and West to watch the England vs New Zealand rugby match at Twickenham. There will be no train services traveling West after the game, so we are asking those passengers not to travel by train.

“We have been working closely with the train operators to agree on the services they will be able to operate during this time but please continue to check with your train operator on the services they are running or visit the National Rail Enquiries website for more information.”


Source: Network Rail News Releases