South Western Railway (SWR) is reminding customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on Christmas Eve as strike action and industrial action will mean a severely reduced service that ends by 15:00. Parts of the network will be closed completely on Christmas Eve and customers are urged to check www.southwesternrailway.com/strike for the latest information.
Following the reduced service and early shut down on Christmas Eve, there will then be no service across the SWR network on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Tuesday 27 December, SWR will run a severely reduced service, with large parts of the network closed. RMT strike action at Network Rail means the network will be closed until midday, with first services starting even later.
Separately, following a review of services on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 December, SWR is pleased to announce that some additional trains have been added to timetables, which will strengthen services between London Waterloo, Surbiton, Woking, and Basingstoke.
While it is unsafe to operate morning peak services from some suburban stations, a limited number of off-peak trains will now serve Earlsfield and Whitton stations.
The ongoing industrial action by the RMT is significantly limiting the number of trains SWR can safely operate over the Christmas period. As a result, SWR published a baseline service plan for the period up to Monday 2 January, that it has a high degree of confidence in delivering, enabling customers to plan ahead. Following a review of the resource available, SWR is pleased to have been able to make these additions to the service.
It is likely that any additional services will only be visible on journey planners the day before or the morning of running. Customers are advised to check their whole journeys just before travelling.
South Western Railway’s Managing Director, Claire Mann, said:
“We are very sorry that RMT industrial action will cause so much disruption to our customers over the Christmas period. We share their frustration at what is a very busy time of year for travelling.
“The industrial action has significantly reduced the number of trains we can operate each day and we have unfortunately had to make some very difficult decisions on where and when we can operate.
“We have worked incredibly hard to strengthen some services from today and continue to advise customers to check their entire journey before travelling.”
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