Train strikes mean most of Wales’ rail network will be suspended
The majority of services on the Wales and Borders network will be suspended when rail staff strike next week. There will be disruption on the days either side of the planned strikes according to operator Transport for Wales. The national union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) has announced strike action will take place on Wednesday July 27, and train drivers’ union Aslef has announced its members will strike on Saturday, July 30.
While Transport for Wales isn’t involved in either dispute its services will be affected – particularly on July 27 when the majority of services on the Wales and Borders network will be suspended. It has also warned there is also expected to be disruption on the days prior to and after the industrial action. Read more: Devastated dad helplessly watched nine-year-old son killed by runaway pick-up truck
Here’s what the operator says the impact will be on both days.
Wednesday, July 27
The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended because TfW will be unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure. Wales and cross-border services The only services operating will be a Cardiff to Newport shuttle with one train operating hourly in each direction between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
No other services will be able to operate. Core Valley Lines Train services will operate between Cardiff Central and Rhymney, Treherbert, Aberdare, and Merthyr Tydfil in an hourly service in each direction between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
Trains will be able to operate between Radyr and Treherbert, Aberdare, and Merthyr Tydfil before 7.30am and after 6.30pm and then up to 8.30pm hours due to engineering work. Road transport will take customers between Cardiff Central and Radyr in each direction outside of these hours but the warning is there will be extremely limited road transport capacity. All train and road transport services are expected to be extremely busy due to the reduced service frequency.
This is a change from the three days of industrial action in June when rail services started/finished at Radyr. There is also expected to be disruption on the days prior to and after the industrial action. South Wales main line
GWR say there will be no services on the South Wales main line (Carmarthen/Swansea-Cardiff Central). You can see their full list of affected services here with passenger information due to be published on Saturday, July 23.
Thursday, July 28
There is also likely to be disruption on Thursday because due to the shift patterns of Network Rail’s signallers and the significant challenges moving trains and crew to operate between strike days. Customers are urged to check their journey before they travel.
Online journey planners will be updated between two and four days before the first strike day. Wales and cross-border services No trains will run before 7am on all Wales and cross-border services and services are likely to be much busier than usual – particularly the first services of the day.
Core Valley Lines The first services of the day that depart Treherbert, Aberdare, and Merthyr Tydfil will all be timed so they will be arriving into Radyr after 7am. No trains will run before 7am on any lines except between Treherbert, Aberdare, and Merthyr Tydfil to Radyr.
No pre-planned road transport services will be in operation before 6.30pm on Core Valley lines. The warning is again that services are likely to be much busier than usual and particularly the first services of the day.
Saturday July, 30
TfW will be running a full timetable but services are likely be affected by strike action at other train operating companies which could result in short-notice cancellations and changes. Services from Swansea to Newport are expected to be very busy due to the reduced Great Western Railways timetable and passengers are advised not to travel unless necessary.
TfW services between Shrewsbury and Birmingham are expected to be very busy with the Commonwealth Games taking place and no services being operated by West Midlands Trains. Passengers are advised not to travel unless necessary. The Aslef strike among GWR train drivers will have an even greater impact and most parts of the GWR network will have no train service.
Full details of the impact on passengers will be published on Tuesday, July 26.
What if I have tickets?
Customers with existing non-season tickets valid for travel on the two strike days can use those tickets any time between Tuesday, July 26, and Tuesday, August 2. Customers are encouraged to avoid travelling on Friday, July 29, and Sunday, July 31, as services are expected to be extremely busy. Alternatively customers can claim a full refund, with no admin fee charged.
Season ticket holders can apply for compensation via Delay Repay.
In the meantime TfW has suspended sales of advance tickets for the strike dates in order to minimise the number of people disrupted and customers are advised to check the TfW or Traveline websites, and those of other operators, for updates.