Strikes stall train services in Scotland over Christmas

Trains in Scotland have stopped running until after Christmas, when the latest round of rail workers’ industrial action gets under way.

ScotRail has warned that no trains north of the border will run on Boxing Day or Christmas Day, with services expected to resume on December 27.

The strike by members of the RMT union at Network Rail is part of a long-running dispute over pay.

ScotRail said trains stopped operating in the UK from 6pm on Saturday when the strike began, with services suspended from 3pm earlier that day – much earlier than usual.

The train operator said services are not normally running on Christmas Day.

Passengers were warned in advance to travel only if “absolutely necessary”.

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Winter weather February 19, 2022
Many train services will be affected by strike action (James Manning/PA)

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery manager, said: “We remind customers that ScotRail services will be disrupted over the Christmas period as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT.

“Services will stop earlier than usual on Christmas Eve, there will be no services on Boxing Day, and the first trains will start later than usual on Tuesday 27 December.

“We know this is really frustrating for anyone affected and we urge customers to plan ahead and check their entire journey in advance.”

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Avanti West Coast also strongly urges customers to only travel if absolutely necessary and to check their travel over the holiday period.

Barry Milsom, director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “We urge our customers to plan ahead and check before they travel if traveling on our West Coast route between December 24 and January 2.”

Network Rail said its staff who are members of the RMT will be on strike from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27.

The operator said the last trains from Scotland to London on Christmas Eve left at 8am from Edinburgh Waverley and at 10.40am from Glasgow Central.

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Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland’s track manager, said: “We understand the frustration and inconvenience this latest round of strike action will cause our customers.

“We regret the disruptions passengers will face during the entire holiday period and urge those who need to travel to plan their trip and check which services are operating in advance.

“We remain committed to working with the RMT to find a resolution to this dispute, but we also need to agree a deal that is fair to the taxpayers who fund our rail.”

ScotRail services will operate on a normal timetable between Wednesday, December 28 and Friday, December 30, Network Rail said.

But the RMT union has announced further plans for four days of strike action at the start of the new year, starting on January 3.


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