All trains running during the next round of rail strikes

Going Places: Leeds will have a busy network of local and intercity trains on strike days (Simon Calder)

Going Places: Leeds will have a busy network of local and intercity trains on strike days (Simon Calder)

Nine months after the nationwide rail strikes began, the largest rail union is staging four more days of strikes, disrupting travel plans for millions of potential passengers in the second half of March and into April.

Tens of thousands of RMT union members who work for 14 rail operators will resign on March 16, 18, 30 and April 1.

The interruptions in the dispute over pay and working conditions will also affect services on the adjoining days

The rail operators and ministers who will sign off on the final settlement say a wage increase of 5 per cent for 2022 and 4 per cent this year is conditional on modernization to increase efficiency.

The RMT is seeking a pay rise – the first in three years – with no strings attached. The union says: “In Scotland and Wales and on the London Underground, RMT have received non-binding salary offers of between 7 and 10 per cent for a year. That’s more than double the value of the current Rail Delivery Group [RDG] Offer that runs for two years.”

These are the central issues for train passengers.

What will happen on the strike days March 16th and 18th?

In many parts of Britain The trains are running as usualincluding the following services:

  • Caledonian sleeper

  • Grand Central

  • Heathrow Express

  • Hull trains

  • London uplands

  • lumo

  • Mersey Rail

  • ScotRail

  • Transportation for Wales

The Strikes affect railway companies contracted by the Ministry of Transport. These include the leading intercity operators:

  • Avanti West Coast

  • cross country

  • East Midlands Railway

  • Great Western Railway

  • LNER

  • TransPennine Express

All important commuter operators is also hit:

  • c2c

  • Greater Anglia

  • GTR (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink)

  • southeast

  • Südwestbahn

  • Operators focused on the Midlands and North of England will be affected:

  • Chiltern Railway

  • Northern Trains

  • West Midlands trains

In addition, there is a widespread planned engineering works. For example, on the west coast main line between Carlisle and southern Scotland, traffic will be suspended via Carstairs.

So how far can I go?

A variety of journeys are possible, for example from Plymouth to Tain in the far north of Scotland via London, Edinburgh and Inverness.

From Holyhead in the far north-west of Wales it will be possible to travel to and from London within 12 hours, with five and a half hours in the capital.

One train operator involved in the strike, c2c, says it will operate an almost normal service.

These are the main services of the main train operators running clockwise from Kent across the UK on strike days.


Some routes operate to/from London. “The first trains will be later and the last trains back from London will be much earlier than usual,” says Southeastern.

“Only 52 out of 180 stations will be open.”

The running routes are:

  • High speed services from London to Ashford

  • S-Bahn services on three routes to Dartford (via Bexley, Bexleyheath and Sidcup)

  • Commuter trains to Sevenoaks

  • S-Bahn to Bromley South


“Services will be limited across our network as trains end earlier and in some areas there are no trains at all,” the operator says.

Trains run between 7am and 7pm on many lines, with the only missing services being Sutton to Horsham, Wivelsfield to Lewes and Eastbourne to Hastings and Ashford.

There will be no trains to and from London Victoria on Saturday 18 March due to planned roadworks.


The network to and from Britain’s busiest railway station, London Waterloo, will be severely restricted, although frequent services should take place on the running routes.

The main line to Southampton Central via Woking, Basingstoke and Winchester will have two express trains per hour in each direction, with many more trains serving Woking and Basingstoke. A train will run every hour from Woking to Guildford and also between Salisbury and Basingstoke.

Four trains per hour will operate in each direction between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside.

“Due to long planned engineering work there will be no services between Basingstoke and Woking and between Hounslow and Windsor & Eton Riverside on Saturday 18 March,” says South Western Railway.

Great Western Railway

“Services begin at 7:30 a.m. and must be completed by around 7:30 p.m.,” GWR says. Trains run hourly to and from London Paddington on the main lines to Cardiff and Bristol Temple Meads, which are extended every other hour to Taunton, Exeter and Plymouth.

Oxford is also served from Paddington.

The Cardiff-Westbury line (via Bristol and Bath) will see trains, as will Slough-Windsor, Maidenhead-Marlow, Twyford-Henley and Reading-Basingstoke.

The strike coincides with the Cheltenham Festival, which normally attracts thousands of track-goers.

“Very limited train service will be able to serve Cheltenham and customers are warned to seek alternative ways to travel to/from the racecourse,” warns GWR.

“The small number of services that can operate will be extremely busy and the last trains will be leaving much earlier than usual.”

cross country

Many more Cheltenham trains will be available on CrossCountry, with services to and from Bristol and Birmingham running approximately 7am to 7pm. The operator tells racegoers: “A queuing system will be put in place in Birmingham, Cheltenham and Bristol.

“You will need to allow 60 to 90 minutes to queue at Cheltenham before being granted platform access. If you have to travel, please don’t leave it until the last train.

“Passengers must allow enough time from leaving the racetrack to making the full journey home.”

From the Birmingham New Street junction there is one train per hour on most major routes: Bristol via Cheltenham; Southampton via Reading; Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh; Leicester; and Manchester via Wolverhampton and Stafford.

Chiltern Railway

The entire Midlands network north of Banbury is closed.

In the southern part there will be hourly trains connecting London Marylebone with Oxford Parkway, Banbury and Aylesbury (via High Wycombe and Amersham).

Avanti West Coast

“We plan to run one train per hour from Euston to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Preston,” says the west coast main line operator.

“These trains will only operate at limited times, with the first train of the day leaving Euston just after 7.30am and the last train of the day leaving Euston just after 4pm.

“The significantly reduced timetable on March 16 means North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Macclesfield and Stoke-on-Trent will not have Avanti West Coast services.” Some trains will run north from Preston to Lancaster and Carlisle, however Roadworks at Carstairs block direct access to Glasgow.

West Midlands Railway/London Northwestern Railway

Between approximately 19:30 and 17:30 trains will connect Birmingham New Street to Redditch, Bromsgrove, Wolverhampton, Crewe and Northampton via Coventry and Rugby. Northampton will have two trains every hour to and from London Euston.

East Midlands Railway

Hourly services are operated from Sheffield and Nottingham to London St Pancras, with a twice hourly service from Leicester. The service from Corby via Kettering to the capital will be hourly.

Many services run hourly to and from Nottingham: Derby, Sheffield, Mansfield Woodhouse and Grantham. There will also be one train per hour between Leicester and Lincoln.

Thames link

Trains every half hour from London St Pancras to Bedford via Luton Airport, with additional stops from the capital to Luton.

London North East Railway

LNER, the flagship operator on the East Coast mainline, is planning a busy schedule on its core route between London King’s Cross, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The first northbound trains on this line leave the English capital at 7.30am, with the last trains leaving at:

  • Edinburgh 1pm.

  • Newcastle 2.30pm.

  • York 4:30 p.m.

To Leeds, the first train leaves at 8:05 am and the last at 3:05 pm.

Times are similar going south.

No LNER trains will run north or west of Edinburgh in Scotland, but ScotRail offers services.

TransPennine Express

Huddersfield to York, Manchester Airport to Preston and Sheffield to Cleethorpes are the only connections.


Services will be very limited, with most open routes starting and ending in Leeds: to Hebden Bridge, Ilkley, Skipton, Sheffield (via Moorthorpe), Bradford Forster Square and York.

In addition, trains will operate between Liverpool and Manchester Airport and between Darlington and Saltburn.

Great North

There will be two trains per hour between London King’s Cross and both Peterborough and Cambridge, with different stopping patterns. One train per hour runs from Cambridge to Ely with an additional shuttle.

Two stops per hour run between King’s Cross and Welwyn Garden City and to Stevenage via Hertford North.

Greater Anglia

Stansted Airport is served by two trains an hour from London Liverpool Street.

An active network of hourly services is planned to and from London Liverpool Street:

  • Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester (Fast)

  • Clacton and Colchester (slow)

  • Southminster

  • Cambridge


“We run a relatively normal timetable,” says the operator – but warns: “Trains can be fuller than normal because people from other railway lines are traveling with us.”


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