ScotRail is urging customers to plan their journey in advance over the Christmas period with services severely impacted by the latest round of strike action by RMT members of Network Rail.
The dispute does not involve ScotRail staff, however, 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.
The RMT union announced its members at Network Rail will take strike action from 1800 on Saturday, 24 December until 0600 on Tuesday, 27 December across the Great Britain railway network resulting from a pay dispute with the track and infrastructure operator.
This will result in the following impact on ScotRail services:
- Christmas Eve (Saturday, 24 December) - services will run as normal until around 1500 when they will begin to wind down to allow for critical engineering works. No train services will start after 1800 (except for the 1815 Cumbernauld – Motherwell) but some trains will still be in transit.
- Christmas Day (Sunday, 25 December) - ScotRail does not operate services on Christmas Day.
- Boxing Day (Monday, 26 December) - no services will operate due to use of contingent Network Rail staff and the prioritisation of critical engineering works. ScotRail normally operates a reduced service across the Strathclyde region.
- Tuesday, 27 December - a later start-up of services. Most services on that day will start around 0800, but in some parts of the country, such as Stirling, there will be no trains running until 1700. This is due to the shift start times of Network Rail signallers.
- New Year’s Eve (Saturday, 31 December) - services will stop earlier than normal for usual Hogmanay closedown.
Services are due to operate as per the normal timetable between Wednesday, 28 December and Friday, 30 December.
The routes, frequency of service, and times of the last trains on Christmas Eve are available at scotrail.co.uk/christmas .
A number of football matches are being played on Christmas Eve so supporters attending those games are reminded that services will begin to wind down from 1500 so they should make sure they have planned their journey home in advance.
Further information on the last services on New Year’s Eve (Saturday, 31 December) will be communicated as soon as possible.
The train operator is currently updating its retail systems to reflect the impact of strike action.
Customers are advised to check the ScotRail app or visit scotrail.co.uk for the latest information before travelling.
The RMT has also announced plans for strike action on 3-4 and 6-7 January. At the moment, we're working through our train plans for these dates, and will keep customers updated as soon as possible.
David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said:
“It’s really disappointing to see more 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, this is going to mean significant disruption with last trains stopping earlier than usual on Christmas Eve, no services on Boxing Day, and later first trains on Tuesday, 27 December.
“We know this is really frustrating for everyone impacted and we’re urging customers to plan ahead and check their entire journey in advance.”