ScotRail is reminding customers to expect significant disruption during this week's strike action by RMT members of Network Rail.
Although the dispute does not involve ScotRail staff it will have a major impact on the train operator’s ability to provide services as the RMT planned action involves Network Rail staff in Scotland.
Around 40,000 RMT union members at Network Rail will take UK-wide strike action on Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4, Friday 6, and Saturday 7 January, resulting from a pay dispute with the track and infrastructure operator.
Many of those occupy safety-critical roles and, as such, it will not be possible for ScotRail to run the vast majority of its services.
On strike days, this means the train operator will run services on 12 routes across the central belt, Fife, and the Borders between 07.30 and 18.30.
The routes and frequency of service that will be in operation on the four strike days are:
- Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High: two trains per hour
- Edinburgh Waverley – Helensburgh Central: two trains per hour
- Glasgow Central – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour
- Glasgow Central – Lanark: two trains per hour
- Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Central via Shotts: one train per hour
- Edinburgh Waverley – Cowdenbeath: two trains per hour
- Edinburgh Waverley – Tweedbank: two trains per hour
- Edinburgh Waverley – North Berwick: one train per hour
- Edinburgh Waverley – Larbert: one train per hour
- Glasgow Queen Street – Larbert: one train per hour
- Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston: one train per hour
- Milngavie – Springburn: two trains per hour
The train operator is warning customers that final services will depart well before 18.30, so customers should plan ahead and ensure they know when their last train will depart.
Due to the greater reliance on manual signalling outside the Central Belt, Network Rail is unable to facilitate passenger services on any other routes on the strike days. Signal boxes are key pieces of Network Rail infrastructure located across the rail network that control train movements. Their use is critical to ensure that the railway can operate safely.
Additionally, on the non-strike day Thursday, 5 January, the same limited timetable will be in operation. It is hoped that some additional routes can be added, but customers should check the website and journey planner for details before they travel.
The train operator has updated its retail systems to reflect the impact of strike action. Customers are also advised to visit www.scotrail.co.uk/strike for more information.
The important messages for customers are:
- There will be no services except on 12 ScotRail routes across the central belt, Fife, and Borders on strike days.
- For the routes that will operate a service, including on Thursday, 5 January, customers should only travel if they really need to and should consider alternative options where possible.
In addition to the strike action, there continues to be disruption to some services due to the severe rainfall over recent days, (with more heavy rain expected Tuesday overnight into Wednesday) so customers are advised to check the ScotRail app or visit scotrail.co.uk for all the latest information before travelling.
David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said:
“It’s really disappointing to see more widespread disruption across the whole Great Britain rail network as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT at a time when we need to be encouraging more people back to the railway.
“For ScotRail, it’s going to mean that we won’t be able to operate the vast majority of our services between 3 and 7 January, which we know will be really frustrating for our customers.
“We’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to on the days of strike action.
“Customers should check their entire journey in advance to make sure their train is running."