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February rail strikes: Are trains running today? Everything you need to know as unions walk out

February rail strikes: Are trains running today? Everything you need to know as unions walk out

Train drivers belonging to the Aslef and RMT unions are staging their eighth walk-out in the current round of strikes in pursuite of a pay claim.

Members of working for 15 train operators will stop work, bringing most train services across England to a halt on Friday.

Since June 2022, national rail strikes in a tangle of disputes about pay, job security and working arrangements have caused problems for millions of train passengers.

Since then, stoppages causing massive disruption for passengers have been called frequently.

These are the key questions and answers.

Who is walking out and why?

Members of the train drivers’ union Aslef (together with a few drivers who along to the RMT union) are involved in a long and bitter dispute with 15 train operators, who in turn are dependent on ministers to approve any settlement.

The latest strike is in protest at an offer of 4 per cent for each of 2022 and 2023, subject to a range of modernisation proposals.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, says: “Not only is the offer a real-terms pay cut, with inflation running north of 10 per cent, but it came with so many conditions attached that it was clearly unacceptable.

“They want to rip up our terms and conditions in return for a real-terms pay cut.

“The proposal is not and could not ever be acceptable.”

The Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators, says: “The rail industry is working hard to keep as many trains running despite the union leaders’ decision to reject an offer which would give their members an 8 per cent pay rise over two years, taking average salaries for train drivers up from nearly £60,000 a year to almost £65,000 a year.”

Which trains are cancelled altogether?

Many train operators cancelled all trains on Friday. They include several key intercity operators:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • TransPennine Express

In addition the main London commuter operator, GTR, has cancelled all services on its four brands: Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink.

Other affected operators are:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Heathrow Express
  • Island Line (Isle of Wight)
  • London Northwestern Railway
  • Northern
  • Southeastern
  • West Midlands Railway

Which train operators will run normally?

ScotRail and Transport for Wales are unaffected as they are not in dispute – though routes that are duplicated by English train…

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