No trains will run between London and Britain’s biggest cities this Saturday as multiple unions combine strikes, the rail industry has confirmed.
Timetables for 1 October have been published, with the overall service cut to just 11% of the normal schedule, when Aslef, RMT and some TSSA and Unite members are walking out for 24 hours in the long-running dispute over pay and conditions.
Aslef’s drivers at 14 operators are on strike, as well as other critical staff, including RMT signallers at Network Rail.
Network Rail has warned passengers not to try to travel unless absolutely necessary. It said that while thousands of back-up staff would attempt to run some services, unlike previous strike days there would be no trains at all between London and major cities – including Birmingham, where the Conservative conference opens on Saturday.
Trains will also not run from the capital to Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Brighton or Norwich.
Trains will start later in the morning and finish earlier in the evening, with no services at all across large parts of the network, and some knock-on effects to trains on Sunday morning.
A further strike by Aslef drivers on Wednesday 5 October will cause disruption for passengers on routes run by the 14 affected operators: Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Northern Trains, Southeastern, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains.
A reduced service will also come into effect for the RMT’s second strike on Saturday 8 October, which is likely to include limited intercity trains.
Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s chief executive, said: “Despite our best efforts to compromise and find a breakthrough in talks, rail unions remain intent on continuing and coordinating their strike action.
“Passengers who want to travel this Saturday, and indeed next Wednesday and next Saturday, are asked only to do so if absolutely necessary. Those who must travel should expect disruption and make sure they check when their last train will depart.”