Today, Britain will be paralyzed by the largest rail strike in decades, as more than 50,000 train workers walk out in a dispute over wages and working conditions.
Members of the militant Aslef, RMT, and TSSA unions are on a 24-hour strike, leaving only 11% of services operational over one of the busiest sporting weekends.
The travel disruption will also affect football fans as the Premier League starts on Saturday, with seven matches anticipated to attract more than 200,000 spectators each.
Arsenal will play Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea will play Crystal Palace, Fulham will play Newcastle United, Liverpool will play Brighton & Hove Albion, and Southampton will play Everton.
Meanwhile, a large number of horse racing enthusiasts will find it difficult to get to a number of events today, including those at Ascot, Wolverhampton, Redcar, and Fontwell.
Rugby fans will also have a difficult time attending other matches today, including London Irish against. Bath and Saracens vs. Leicester Tigers.
This is the first time in history that multiple unions have coordinated simultaneous walkouts.
On one of the busiest sporting weekends of the year, the militant Aslef, RMT, and TSSA unions are striking for 24 hours, leaving just 11% of services operational.
It is the first time in history that multiple unions have coordinated simultaneous walkouts (Pictured: Passenger attempting to sleep at Paddington station on first day of three strikes)
RMT union is orchestrating strikes. (Pictured is Manager Mick Lynch)
Saturday’s concerts in the nation’s capital by pop artist Machine Gun Kelly and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli may have a significant number of empty seats.
Weekend attendees of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham will also be affected.
Additionally, rail employees will strike on the 5th and 8th of October, while RMT members will strike in Scotland on the 10th.
Due to the lack of progress in the issue, Aslef chief Mick Whelan warned on Friday that additional strikes are ‘inevitable’
A slew of engineering works affecting routes in London, Reading, Oxford, Newcastle, Edinburgh, and elsewhere have added to the mayhem.
Due to the cancellation of a planned strike by bus drivers, however, a complete transportation breakdown was averted. Arriva employees in North London who are Unite members have received an 11% raise, the union announced on Friday.
Before embarking on a train journey, train operators advise passengers to do routine inspections.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, told PA News Agency that his members were becoming increasingly frustrated with the dispute’s lack of progress.
He stated, “We don’t want to go on strike, but this conflict will continue until the government releases the railroad companies from their fetters.”
The word I’m receiving from my members is that they desire further industrial action, so I believe that additional strikes are inevitable.
Tomorrow’s rail strikes will be the first time that all unions have walked out on the same day, thus service disruptions will be more severe than on prior strike days.
The disruption will have a significant impact on the 50,000 people planned to attend the London Marathon on Sunday (Pictured: London Marathon crossing Tower Bridge last year)
The travel disruption will also affect football fans, as seven Premier League games are expected to attract more than 200,000 spectators from across the country (Pictured: The Emirates Stadium in London, which has a capacity of 60,000 fans)
Trains will start later in the morning and end earlier in the evening, and significant portions of the network will have no trains at all.
This Saturday, unlike past strike days, there will be no trains between London and several other important cities in the United Kingdom, including Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, Brighton, and Norwich.
What impact will Saturday rail strikes have on YOUR train service?
South Western Railway – Service will be significantly restricted between 7.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., but only on a few lines. Two trains per hour will operate between London Waterloo and Feltham; two trains per hour will operate between London Waterloo and Basingstoke; four trains per hour will operate between London Waterloo and Woking; and two trains per hour will operate between London Waterloo and Southampton Central.
CrossCountry – No services will be provided.
Between Nottingham and London and Sheffield and London, just one train per hour will operate on the East Midlands Railway during the hours of 7.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. In addition, there will be hourly service between Nottingham and other key cities like Derby and Leicester, but all other lines will be closed.
Great Western Railway – From 7.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., there will be a “very limited service.” This service operates only between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington, Reading and Didcot, and Reading and Basingstoke.
Avanti West Coast – No services will be provided.
LNER – There will be no service to or from stations north of York, and LNER advises customers not to travel north of York. There will be a restricted service between London Kings Cross and York, as well as between Doncaster and Leeds.
The TransPennine Express service between York and Huddersfield and Edinburgh and Preston will be “extremely limited.”
Greater Anglia – According to the operator, services would be drastically reduced and disrupted, and there will be no Greater Anglia trains between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street or on regional or branch routes.
c2c – Between 7.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., the operator anticipates “severe interruption on all lines” and a limited service. From London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Laindon and from London Fenchurch Street to Pitsea via Rainham, there will be two trains every hour.
Chiltern Railways – All routes will be without service.
Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink, and Gatwick Express – Limited services will begin later than usual and end later in the afternoon, while Gatwick Express services will not operate at all.
West Midlands Railway – All routes will be without service.
Southeastern – No services will be operating.
Northern – No services will be provided.
Passengers who must travel, especially those who wish to participate in or observe the London Marathon, are encouraged to prepare early and confirm the departure time of their final train.
Passengers are also reminded that there may be disruptions in the early hours of Sunday, October 2 as employees return to work.
Andrew Haines, the chief executive officer of Network Rail, stated, “Despite our best attempts to compromise and find a breakthrough in negotiations, rail unions remain committed to continuing and coordinating their strike action.”
“This will simply result in our employees forgoing even more of their income unnecessarily, as well as causing even more inconvenience for our passengers and hindering the railway’s recovery from the pandemic.”
“Passengers who wish to travel this Saturday, as well as the next Wednesday and the following Saturday, are urged to do so only if absolutely essential. Those who must go should anticipate delays and confirm the departure time of their final train.”
Daniel Mann, head of industry operations for Rail Delivery Group, stated, “These strikes are harmful and wasteful.” They interrupt the travel schedules of passengers, damage struggling firms, impact significant events, and hinder the industry’s rehabilitation.
‘It is especially disappointing that this weekend’s strike will disrupt the preparations of hundreds of runners who have spent months preparing to compete in the prestigious London Marathon.
This will also harm the numerous organizations, large and small, that rely on sponsorship funds collected by such events to assist the most needy members of our community.
While we have done everything possible to keep some rail services operating, customers should only take the train if it is absolutely necessary.
‘Passengers with advance, off-peak, or anytime tickets affected by the strikes on 1 October may use their tickets the day prior to the booking date, or up to 4 October. If their train is canceled or postponed, passengers may also amend their tickets to travel on a different day or receive a refund.
Transport for London (TfL) warned that its services will be impacted by the strikes, with no London Overground service likely on Saturday and the following Wednesday.
On both days, portions of London Underground including the Elizabeth line will also be affected.
Essential engineering maintenance prevents service on the Piccadilly line to Heathrow on Saturday, January 1 and Sunday, January 2.
The majority of the public transport network will run as usual, however customers are encouraged to verify before they travel and to allow for additional travel time.
TfL’s director of rail and sponsored services, Trish Ashton, stated, ‘Customers will still be able to travel during these strikes, including via the bus network, but we suggest them to plan ahead and verify before they travel.
Some London train services are scheduled to be disrupted this weekend and next, along with a small portion of the Tube.
People were cautioned that while there will be public transportation alternatives around London, walking or cycling may be faster for some trips.
On Sunday, runners and spectators attempting to enter London in time for the 9.30 a.m. start of the London Marathon in Greenwich were cautioned that they may encounter difficulties due to the strike.
The interruption is the result of a coordinated walkout by members of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union (pictured: Mick Lynch, RMT general-secretary), Aslef, Unite, and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association.
On Saturday, October 1, rail passengers are warned to only travel if absolutely necessary due to a strike that will close 89 percent of the network.
Trains traveling a decent distance into Central London will not arrive until close to 9 a.m. at the earliest.
On Sunday, only those traveling a short distance to the London Marathon will arrive at the starting line by 9.30am, as services will begin considerably later.