Travellers trying to reach the Eurovision Song Contest and the FA Cup Final by rail could find their trains cancelled by a series of strikes. The main rail union, the RMT, and the train drivers’ union, Aslef, have called more walk-outs in May and June. Staff will stop work at more than a dozen train operators, including all the key long-distance and commuter rail firms.
Drivers working for over a dozen train operators will walk out on Friday 12 May, Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June. An overtime ban will also be put in place.
The RMT has called a strike by members working at 14 train operators on Saturday 13 May.
The walk-outs will hit passengers hoping to reach Liverpool for the climax of the Eurovision Song Contest; the final takes place on Saturday 13 May. Avanti West Coast, TransPennine Express and Northern are among the train operators that will be affected.
The 3 June date coincides with the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Manchester City, which will be staged at Wembley in northwest London. Normally tens of thousands of fans would be travelling by rail to the match. It will also affect racegoers travelling to Epsom Derby.
Since June 2022, national rail strikes in a tangle of disputes about pay, job security and working arrangements have caused problems for tens of millions of train passengers. Stoppages have been called frequently, causing massive disruption and making advance travel planning difficult.
The main rail union, the RMT, has staged walk-outs on 24 days in the current wave of strikes, with Aslef stopping work on eight previous occasions.
These are the key questions and answers.
Who is striking and when?
Aslef has instructed all its train driver members working for 16 train operators to strike on Friday 12 May, Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June.
The train firms are those contracted by the Department for Transport. They include the leading intercity operators:
- Avanti West Coast
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
- TransPennine Express
The vast majority of London commuter operators will also be hit:
- Greater Anglia
- GTR (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink)
- South Western Railway
Operators focusing on the Midlands and north of England will be affected:
- Chiltern Railways
- Northern Trains
- West Midlands Trains
There will also be a ban on “non-contractual overtime” –…
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