ScotRail is reminding customers that services across the country will be disrupted tomorrow (Wednesday, 22 June), and for the rest of the week, as a result of strike action by Network Rail’s RMT members.
On the days following strike action - Wednesday 22, Friday 24, and Sunday 26 June - there will be significant disruption across the country caused by the reopening of Network Rail signal boxes at different times throughout the day.
Signal boxes are key pieces of infrastructure located across the rail network that control train movements, their use is critical to ensure that the railway can operate safely.
While Network Rail’s large signalling centres in the Central Belt will be able to operate from 07.15, this will not be the case at signal boxes elsewhere and it may well be later in the day before many routes are able to operate as normal. This is particularly the case for routes beyond the Central Belt.
ScotRail is urging anyone travelling on Scotland’s Railway to check their journey in advance to see if their train is running. For example, the first service from Dundee to Aberdeen is at 11.18. This compares to a normal timetable of 07:22
Trains times for the services which will operate on Wednesday, 22 and Friday, 24 June are available to view on the ScotRail website at Network Rail Industrial Action.
The disruption caused by strike action will impact customers travelling to events such as The Eagles at Murrayfield on Wednesday, 22 June, and Liam Gallagher at Hampden Park on Sunday, 26 June.
ScotRail will be issuing specific travel advice for each event, and customers are advised to check the ScotRail app or visit scotrail.co.uk for the latest information about their entire journey before travelling.
The three days of strike action were announced by the RMT union on Tuesday, 7 June following a pay dispute with Network Rail and some Department for Transport train operating companies, and will impact services across the Great Britain railway network.
This dispute does not involve ScotRail staff, however, does have a major knock-on effect on the train operator’s ability to provide services as the planned action involves Network Rail staff in Scotland who are members of RMT.
Many of the Network Rail staff that are due to take part in the planned industrial action occupy safety-critical roles and, as such, it will not be possible for ScotRail to run the vast majority of services.
For more information, please visit the National Rail website at National Rail Enquiries - Industrial Action.
On the days of strike action - Tuesday 21, Thursday 23, and Saturday, 25 June - ScotRail is only operating services on five routes across Scotland between the hours 07.30 and 18.30. These routes are:
- Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High: two trains per hour
- Edinburgh – Bathgate: two trains per hour
- Glasgow – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour
- Glasgow – Lanark: two trains per hour
- Edinburgh – Glasgow via Shotts: one train per hour
Network Rail is unable to open any other signal boxes to operate passenger services on any other routes on days of strike action.
Final services on the five operational routes depart well before 18.30, so customers should plan ahead to ensure they know when their last train will run. Train times on the five available routes can be view on the ScotRail website at Network Rail Industrial Action | ScotRail.
The important messages for customers travelling on days of strike action are:
- Services will only operate on five routes.
- For the routes on which we will operate a service, customers should only travel if they really need to and should consider alternative options where possible.
David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said:
“Regrettably, the disruption caused by the RMT Network Rail strike action extends to the days following strike action as well. This is due to Network Rail signal boxes across Scotland’s Railway opening at different times throughout the day.
“This means, for some routes, it may be later in the day before we’re able to operate services as normal.
“I’d encourage anyone planning to travel on the railway on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, to check their journey in advance to see if their train is running, and on days of strike action to only travel if they really need to on the five routes where services are operating.”