Thousands of RMT members voted to walk out across Network Rail and train operating companies on Tuesday and are due to do so again tomorrow (Thursday June 23) and Saturday June 25 in a row over pay and potential job losses.
Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Southern and Thameslink trains, was one of the few companies where its employees did not back a strike. However since it relies on Network Rail staff to run its network, its services were also severely disrupted.
On Tuesday, the first day of strike action, only the Brighton Mainline was operating in Sussex and even this was running a reduced timetable.
Although there are no strikes today (Wednesday June 22) passengers are being warned of disruption and reduced services across GTR and Southeastern’s networks.
Southern’s website says: “No services will run before 07:15, with some stations having first services around 08:00. Some routes will see fewer services during the morning and across the day. The following routes will not have a service: Horsham to Dorking, Beckenham Junction to Crystal Palace.
“Some trains will have fewer carriages than normal weekday services, meaning trains are expected to be very busy.”
Southeastern’s website adds: “Services in between strike days are expected to be severely disrupted, especially in the mornings until midday.
“No services will run before 7.30am, and on Wednesday 22 June some services will start much later in the East Kent area.”
The RMT says it is meeting representatives from Network Rail and rail operators today for further talks.
Yesterday RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Today’s turnout at picket lines has been fantastic and exceeded expectations in our struggle for job security, defending conditions and a decent pay rise.
“Our members will continue the campaign and have shown outstanding unity in pursuit of a settlement to this dispute.
“RMT members are leading the way for all workers in this country who are sick and tired of having their pay and conditions slashed by a mixture of big business profits and government policy
“Now is the time to stand up and fight for every single railway worker in this dispute that we will win.”