ScotRail warns customers of significant disruption during RMT Network Rail strike action  

Last updated: Monday, 15 August 2022

Due to strike action by RMT members of Network Rail, ScotRail is warning customers to expect significant disruption.

Network Rail strike action will take place on Thursday, 18 August and Saturday, 20 August. This means a very limited number of services will operate on a limited number of ScotRail routes.

The RMT union announced strike action across the Great Britain railway network resulting from a pay dispute with Network Rail.

This dispute does not involve ScotRail staff, however it will have a major knock-on effect on the train operator’s ability to provide services as the RMT planned action will involve Network Rail staff in Scotland.

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 on this, please visit the National Rail website at National Rail Enquiries - Industrial Action .

ScotRail has confirmed that it will operate services on 11 routes across the Central Belt, Fife and Borders on the days of strike action, providing double the number of services than during the previous strike by RMT members of Network Rail on 27 July. ScotRail will operate 378 services on 18 and 20 August compared to 189 on 27 July.

However, the railway will only be operational between 07.30 and 18.30 on 18 and 20 August. Services on the following routes will run on these days:

  • 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 – Inverkeithing: two trains per hour
  • Edinburgh Waverley – Tweedbank: two trains per hour
  • Edinburgh Waverley – North Berwick: 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

Final services will depart well before 18.30, so customers should plan ahead to ensure they know when their last train will run.

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.

Customer retail systems are being updated to reflect these changes. Customers are also advised to check for more information.

The important messages for customers are:

  1. There will be no service except on 11 ScotRail routes across the Central Belt, Fife, and Borders.
  2. For the routes which will operate a service, customers should only travel if they really need to and should consider alternative options where possible.

Disruption to ScotRail services will not be confined to the days of strike action and will also impact the day following each day of action – Friday,19 August and Sunday, 21 August.

On the days following strike action, there will be disruption caused by the reopening of signal boxes at different times across the country. 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 large signalling centres in the Central Belt will be able to operate from 07.15, this will not be the case at manual boxes elsewhere and it may well be early afternoon before many routes are able to operate as normal. This is particularly the case for routes beyond the Central Belt.

Customers are advised to check the ScotRail app or visit for the latest information before travelling.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said:

“It is very unfortunate to see such widespread disruption across the whole of the Great Britain rail network and we know this will be frustrating for ScotRail customers.

“Regrettably, this strike action by RMT members of Network Rail means that we will not be able to operate the vast majority of our services during the period of strike action. Customers should expect significant disruption to services on strike days, as well as the following day.

“We are able to operate on more routes than on the previous day of strike action, however, we are still only able to run a very limited number of services on these routes, so we’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to.”