South Western Railway (SWR) is urging customers only to travel by rail if absolutely necessary from Saturday 5 to Thursday 10 November due to the planned RMT industrial action.
Customers should expect severe disruption on the network and, if they must travel on any of those days, should seek to do so by other means.
This includes a strike day for Guy Fawkes Night on Saturday 5 November, when last trains will depart at around 1700 and customers risk getting stranded if they do not have other means of getting home.
SWR has published its strike day service levels for Saturday 5 November, Monday 7 November, and Wednesday 9 November, which will provide a severely reduced service on the routes Network Rail has made available.
Significant parts of the network will be closed entirely and those trains that are running will be far less frequent and much busier compared to normal.
Due to the impact of the strike days, customers are also urged only to travel if absolutely necessary on Sunday 6 November, Tuesday 8 November, and Thursday 10 November, when first trains will start much later than usual across the network and are likely to be very busy.
Staff at Network Rail are set to take strike action on 5, 7, and 9 November, significantly limiting the rail infrastructure available, causing severe disruption. On 5 and 9 November, more than 2,100 SWR members of the RMT union will join the strike action. On 9 November only, SWR members of the TSSA union will also strike.
In separate disputes, RMT members on London Overground and London Underground, will also take part in industrial action on Thursday 10 November, meaning that some connections with SWR services may be disrupted or not run at all.
Network Rail will provide contingency cover for critical roles including electrical control room operators, signallers, maintenance, and response teams, but will not be able to cover the whole day.
SWR’s reduced timetable will run from 07:15 to 18:30 on Saturday 5 November, Monday 7 November, and Wednesday 9 November and will consist of:
-Four trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside
-Two semi-fast trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Basingstoke
-Four trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Woking
-Two fast trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Southampton Central
Trains will not stop at all the stations on these routes. There will be no SWR services across the rest of the network.
During this period the Island line will run a standard daytime timetable where possible, but services may be affected by strike action on the mainland. The Island Line will be suspended from 1900 to 0700 overnight on Monday 7 November to Tuesday 8 November.
This is because Network Rail’s Electrical Control Room Operators (ECROs) working at Eastleigh Electrical Control Room, which provides power to the Island Line, will be taking part in the industrial action. As a result, Network Rail will be unable to power the Island Line overnight on Monday 7 November.
South Western Railway’s Performance and Planning Director, Steve Tyler, said: “I’m sorry that due to strike action we must urge our customers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary from Saturday 5 to Thursday 10 November.
“Large parts of our network will be closed on strike days and there will be a late start up on the morning after. Those who must travel are urged to carefully check the times of first and last trains and avoid them if possible.
“We appreciate that customers will be eager to enjoy the fireworks for Guy Fawkes Night, but last trains for the day will depart early at around 1700 and will be very busy. Please check train times carefully to avoid getting stranded as the network will be shut for the rest of the evening.
“We are grateful to our customers for their continued cooperation, patience, and understanding as the rail industry works to bring this damaging nationwide strike action to an end.”
Customers are urged to check the SWR website for latest information here.
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