The North East is set to face a week of train disruptions as thousands of Network Rail staff, as well as staff working for train operators, are due to go on strike for three days. As a result, people are being told to avoid travelling if their journey is not essential.
Staff who are members of the RMT union are due to walk out on Tuesday, June 21, Thursday, June 23 and Saturday, June 25. As well as the affected days, train services across the North East are also expected to be disrupted on either side of the strike days.
A number of train stations will be closed as a result and train operators are running reduced services. London North Eastern Railway will be running around 38% of their usual trains and they are likely to be “very busy”, meanwhile Northern said they will not be able to operate services on most routes.
Here’s how North East train services will be affected by the strike action:
TransPennine Express (TPE) warned that the very few services it is able to run each day will be extremely busy. There will also be significant disruption to services on days on either side of the strike action.
On the days of RMT strike action, TPE will operate a small number of services on just four routes (Newcastle – Edinburgh, Sheffield – Cleethorpes, Manchester Airport – Preston and Manchester Piccadilly – York), with the vast majority of its managed stations closed with no rail or replacement service available for customers.
A number of train stations across the North East will be closed including; Middlesbrough, Yarm, Thirsk, Thornaby, and Northallerton.
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director at TransPennine Express said: “Due to the RMT action we will only be able to operate around 10 per cent of our usual daily services. Alongside other operators, we simply won’t be able to provide journeys for the tens of thousands of customers who would normally rely on us and any services we are able to run will be extremely busy.
“Therefore, we’re asking our customers to think carefully about their travel across the whole of next week and to only make essential journeys by rail. People should, where possible, consider alternative modes of transport.”
London North Eastern Railway
Over the strike dates, LNER will be running around 38% of their usual trains and they are likely to be very busy. If you can avoid travelling over this period the railway service recommends doing so.
If you do need to travel, please check their website and journey planner before your journey. They warned there might be some last-minute changes to their timetable and onboard services.
Due to the industrial action, CrossCountry said they will be running a significantly reduced service on Tuesday, June 21, Thursday, June 23, and Saturday, June 25. Days on either side of the industrial action are also expected to be affected.
They have also suspended Advance tickets for the three strike dates, so customers are urged to continue to check their website and other train operator websites for updates. Customers with Anytime, Off-Peak or Advance tickets dated June 21, June 23, or June 25 are permitted to travel the day before and up to two days after the date on their ticket.
If you have a ticket to travel on June 21, June 23, or June 25 this will now also be valid for travel up to and including June 20. You are required to travel at a similar time to your original ticket, following any time restrictions associated with it.
A spokesperson for CrossCountry said: “We’re disappointed with this action by the RMT which we believe to be premature, and we are very sorry for the inconvenience it will cause.”
Northern has advised customers not to travel between Tuesday, June 21 and Sunday, June 26, and make alternative plans. There will be no replacement buses or alternative travel provided.
On strike days, there will be extremely limited availability of both train crew and signalling staff and as such, they will not be able to operate services on most routes. You will be entitled to a refund for dates affected by strike action if not travelling.
A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, as we will not be able to position our fleet how we normally would, the significant impact of the strike will also be felt on non-strike days. Therefore, we regrettably advise customers not to travel on any day from Tuesday 21st through to Sunday 26th June.’
“Where we are able to operate trains, services will be very limited, and trains will not start as early as normal and will finish much earlier than normal.”
Grand Central said they plan to run a reduced service on both routes during the strike action. On the days on either side of strike days, they plan to run a full timetable however there are some alterations to the first and last trains.
Reservations are compulsory on strike days and customers without reservations will not be permitted to board. If your journey is disrupted on a strike day, you can travel the day before or after with any valid Grand Central ticket.
If your journey has been disrupted due to the strike actions you can change your travel plans or request a refund from your point of purchase fee-free. Full strike timetables are published on their website.
The strike action will affect Lumo services on the days of the action and days on either side of the action. Lumo will operate as many services as possible, although there will be some disruption to services over the strike days so people are advised to plan ahead.
Customers with LumoFixed tickets for services operating normally must travel on their original service. Customers with LumoFixed tickets for cancelled services may travel on any Lumo services between Saturday, June 18, and Thursday, June 30, inclusive, subject to seat reservations being available. Seat reservations may be booked by contacting their Twitter team @lumotravel or at any station ticket office.
Whilst Lumo colleagues were not balloted as part of the RMT national campaign and are not included in plans for any strike action, the industrial action announced will involve Network Rail staff who operate signalling systems and other train operating companies colleagues who manage facilities at stations.
Tyne and Wear Metro
Tyne and Wear Metro employees are not taking industrial action, but there will be an impact on Metro services operating between Pelaw and South Hylton because this stretch of line is part of the national rail network which is owned and managed by Network Rail.
No Metro services will be running between Pelaw and South Hylton on June 21, 23 and 25. Customers travelling in this area on June 21 and June 23 will need to find alternative modes of travel.
On Saturday, June 25, Metro had already arranged a replacement bus service for planned engineering works, and this will be in place between Heworth and South Hylton.