South Western Railway (SWR) is reminding customers to only travel by train if absolutely necessary for the rest of this week.
As the weekend approaches, the company has reiterated that there will be severe disruption across the network, and on strike days there will be no trains running to Portsmouth or beyond Southampton to the coast.
This comes as further nationwide RMT strikes are taking place on Saturday (25 June), with a severely reduced service provided only on the routes that Network Rail has made available. Large parts of the SWR network will be shut down completely.
The knock-on effects of each strike mean that a late starting Sunday level of service will run on both Friday (24 June) and Sunday (26 June), causing significant disruption.
On these two days, the first trains on the network will leave after 07:30, with first services from many stations much later. This is due to the signal and maintenance workers being unavailable until later than normal and the challenge of getting trains and people in the right place following the early shutdown on strike days.
SWR is re-issuing the travel advice after commuters had to contend with disrupted services and busy stations and trains on Wednesday 22 June; the day after the RMT’s first strike.
Customers who have to travel are able to check trains times via www.nationalrail.co.uk, but should consider avoiding travelling on the first and last trains of each day as these services are set to be very busy.
Commenting, SWR’s Managing Director, Claire Mann, said:
“We’re sorry to have to ask our customers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary until Sunday 26 June as nationwide RMT strikes are causing major disruption on our network every day this week.
“We know that many people have planned to use our trains for leisure travel this weekend, but Saturday’s strike action means we will be running a very limited service.
“Customers who do travel on Saturday risk being stranded after the network shuts down at 18:30 and should double check their last trains.
“We’re sorry to those whose weekend plans will be hit and thank them for their patience and understanding”.