Home Estate Planning Train strikes start this week: Here’s everything you need to know

Train strikes start this week: Here’s everything you need to know

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Brits are facing yet another week of disruption this week as train drivers from the Aslef union walk-out in an ongoing feud over pay and working conditions.

A combination of strikes and a ban on overtime working will take place on separate days between Monday 29 January and Tuesday 6 February, affecting 17 train companies.

There will be no services at all on some days, while others will see services start later and finish much earlier than usual, typically running between 7:30am and 6:30pm.

It comes despite the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), which represents signalling staff, reaching a breakthrough agreement with government late last year, which averted disruption through Christmas and up to Spring.

Planned strikes at LNER scheduled to take place over the following week were called off were called after the operator agreed not to put minimum service levels in place during the primary set of walk-outs.

The dates:

Monday 29 January: overtime ban.

Tuesday 30 January: full strike action on Southeastern, Southern, Gatwick Express, South Western Railway, Great Northern and Thameslink.

Wednesday 31 January: full strike action on TransPennine Express and Northern.

Thursday 1 February: overtime ban.

Friday 2 February: full strike action on C2C, Greater Anglia and LNER.

Saturday 3 February: full strike action on Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and East Midlands Railway.

Sunday 4 February: overtime ban

Monday 5 February: Strikes at Great Western, CrossCountry and Chiltern.

Tuesday 6 February: overtime ban.


Industrial action by both Aslef and the RMT union has caused disruption since May 2022, as high inflation stokes issues with worker’s pay packets and Britain’s railways continue to endure a chequered post-Covid recovery.

In April 2023, Aslef, which represents train drivers, rejected the offer of a four per cent pay rise over the next two years in exchange for a guarantee they would accept changes to driver training practices and negotiate changes in working schedules at individual operators.

The standard salary for rail workers was £45,919 in 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). For train and tram drivers, median pay is just under £59,000.

Talks stalled throughout 2022 as the government and Aslef consistently accused the other party of failing to show up at the negotiating table.

Rail unions are also furious at government legislation enforcing minimum service levels to be applied in key sectors during strikes.

 Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary, said: “We have given the government every opportunity to come to the table but it is now a year since we had any contact from the Department for Transport. It’s clear they do not want to resolve this dispute.

“Many members have now not had a single penny increase in pay for half a decade, during which time inflation has soared and, with it, the cost of living. We didn’t ask for an increase during the pandemic, when we worked through lockdown, as key workers, risking our lives, to move goods around the country and enable NHS and other workers to get to work.”

A spokesperson for Rail Delivery Group said: “There are no winners from these strikes that will unfortunately cause disruption for our customers. We believe rail can have a bright future, but right now taxpayers are contributing an extra £54m a week to keep services running post covid.  

“ASLEF’s leadership need to recognise the financial challenge facing rail. Drivers have been made an offer which would take base salaries to nearly £65,000 for a four-day week before overtime – that is well above the national average and significantly more than many of our customers that have no option to work from home are paid. Instead of staging more damaging industrial action, we call on the ASLEF leadership to work with us to resolve this dispute and deliver a fair deal which both rewards our people, and makes the changes needed to make services more reliable.

“While we are doing all we can to keep trains running, unfortunately there will be reduced services between Monday 29 January to Tuesday 6 February, so our advice is to check before you travel and follow the latest travel information.”

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