Commuters using Northern, Merseyrail and Southern train services face travel chaos on Monday (13 March) as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers stage a 24-hour walkout, ending at midnight.
Up to 2,000 rail workers at the three companies are expected to stage strikes in separate disputes, making it one of the worst disruptions since the rail sector was privatised. The dispute stems from the role of conductors in train operations.
More than half of the services on Merseyrail and Northern will be cancelled, while Southern said it aims to run most of its 2,200 trains.
Most services will operate to a normal timetable. Check the map of planned alterations.
- Gatwick Express will operate a full service between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport / Brighton.
- No Southern services between Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes Central via Kensington Olympia / Watford Junction
- No Southern service between Leatherhead and Guildford
- No Rye – Ashford International shuttle services during the morning and evening peaks. However we plan to operate most services between Ashford International and Brighton. (Details below) We also plan to operate replacement buses between Rye and Ashford International.
- Some trains between London Bridge and Brighton, Eastbourne or Littlehampton will not operate (details below)
- Some services between Brighton and Seaford / Eastbourne / Hastings / Ashford and between Brighton and Bognor Regis / Littlehampton / Portsmouth Harbour / Southampton Central will not operate (details below) and others will have fewer carriages than normal
- Most services that only run between Brighton and Hove will not operate
A southern spokesperson said: "What the RMT want is to see trains cancelled if the on-board supervisor is not available. That would disadvantage everyone, including the disabled. There are more staff on trains who are now more focused on assisting passengers than ever.
"We are committed to making our services more accessible and have a clear system in place to help disabled passengers and those with restricted mobility make and complete their journey, safely and on time."
Trains on Merseyrail will run every half hour from 7am to 7pm with only six carriages. No trains will run on the Ellesmere Port, Hunts Cross and Kirkby lines. Merseyrail has provided full timetables.
Merseyrail said: "New state-of-the art trains that are safer, faster and more reliable will be introduced on the Merseyrail network by 2020. The RMT union, who represent many Merseyrail guards, has voted for strike action as the new fleet will be driver-controlled operation."
Services will not start before 7am, with services winding down between 5pm and 7pm. It is expected to be running only 40% of its services. Northern warned to expect extremely busy services, especially between Leeds and Manchester.
Northern Rail issued a new list of timetables that will be in force during the industrial action.
A spokesman for Northern said: "Our modernisation proposals are still in the early stages so it is disappointing that RMT is taking strike action. There are lots of time to talk and agree how we modernise the way we provide customer service. As part of our proposals we are prepared to offer guarantees on jobs and pay to our people."
RMT considering legal path over disabled passengers
The RMT has also said that it is considering legal options over the "failure" of the Office of Rail (ORR) Regulation to protect the rights of disabled passengers on Southern.
There are concerns stemming from reports from members and passengers that disabled passengers on Southern are being treated less favourably than other passengers as a result of the move to end the guarantee of a guard on the new driver only services.
It claims that the ORR has failed to make a complete assessment of the effects on disabled passengers before Southern implemented the changes at the start of the year.