Further rail disruption expected as two days of strike action begin

ScotRail has warned passengers only to travel if necessary on Thursday and Saturday due to strike action by the RMT union.

RMT workers on picket line
RMT workers on picket line

Train services across Scotland will be severely disrupted on Thursday and Saturday with only a handful of services running as rail staff take further strike action.

ScotRail has warned passengers a very limited number of services will run on Thursday as a result of industrial action by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) which has been locked in an ongoing battle over pay, jobs and conditions with Network Rail.

Services will operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm and ScotRail has urged passengers to check services ahead of travel and only travel if it is necessary.

The operator has also warned passengers to expect disruption on Friday August 20 and Sunday August 21 following the strikes as services are restarted.

  • Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High: two trains per hour 
  • Edinburgh Waverley – Helensburgh Central: two trains per hour 
  • Glasgow Central – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour  
  • Glasgow Central – Lanark: two trains per hour  
  • Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Central via Shotts: one train per hour
  • Edinburgh Waverley – Inverkeithing: two trains per hour
  • Edinburgh Waverley – Tweedbank: two trains per hour
  • Edinburgh Waverley – North Berwick: one train per hour
  • Glasgow Queen Street – Larbert: one train per hour
  • Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston: one train per hour
  • Milngavie – Springburn: two trains per hour

RMT picket lines will be in place at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley from 7am on Thursday, with a “picket at the fringe” at 10am on Waverley bridge.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “It is very unfortunate to see such widespread disruption across the whole of the Great Britain rail network and we know this will be frustrating for ScotRail customers.

“Regrettably, this strike action by RMT members of Network Rail means that we will not be able to operate the vast majority of our services during the period of strike action.

“Customers should expect significant disruption to services on strike days, as well as the following day.

“We are able to operate on more routes than on the previous day of strike action, however, we are still only able to run a very limited number of services on these routes, so we’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to.

The Transport Salaried Staff Association (TSSA) union will also take strike action on services that serve Scotland including Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and LNER.

Speaking at a public meeting in Glasgow on Tuesday evening, general secretary of the RMT, Mick Lynch, said the dispute would not be over until “members decide it is over”.

“The dispute that we are in, is a member-led dispute.” he said.

Rail strikes
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT). (Aaron Chown)

“And it will not be settled until our members decide it’s over.

“This dispute we are in is a defensive dispute. It’s not about pay, pay is part of it, but it is about our jobs first and foremost.

“If you haven’t got a job, you’re not going to get a pay rise.

“Do they ever want to talk about that? No, it’s ‘greedy railway workers, train drivers wages’.

“If you’re working on the gate line down at Glasgow Central, you are not on a train driver’s wage. You’re not any better off than any public sector worker.”

The RMT claim Network Rail is attempting to impose compulsory redundancies and cuts to maintenance work and has accused rail chiefs of putting public safety at risk.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “It saddens me that we are again having to ask passengers to stay away from the railway for two days this week due to unnecessary strike action, when we should be helping them enjoy their summers.

“We have made a good and fair offer but, with the exception of our TSSA management grades who accepted the deal, our unions are refusing to let our employees have a say and, sadly, that means more disruption on the rail network.

“We’ll run as many services as we can on Thursday and Saturday, but it will only be around a fifth of the usual timetable, so please only travel if absolutely necessary and, if you must travel, plan ahead and check when your last train will be.”

ScotRail services running on Thursday, August 18

– Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High: two trains per hour

– Edinburgh Waverley – Helensburgh Central: two trains per hour

– Glasgow Central – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour

– Glasgow Central – Lanark: two trains per hour

– Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Central via Shotts: one train per hour

– Edinburgh Waverley – Inverkeithing: two trains per hour

– Edinburgh Waverley – Tweedbank: two trains per hour

– Edinburgh Waverley – North Berwick: one train per hour

– Glasgow Queen Street – Larbert: one train per hour

– Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston: one train per hour

– Milngavie – Springburn: two trains per hour

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News