Major train disruption in Wales with services hit by strikes

Rail passengers are being warned that the majority of train services across the Wales and Borders network will not run over two days in October, and there will be delays on a third day, because of ongoing industrial actions. The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) has announced two days of strike action will take place on Saturday, October 1, and Saturday, October 8, across Network Rail and 15 train operators. Aslef has also announced strike action on Saturday, October 1, and Wednesday, October 5, across 12 train operators, while TSSA have announced strike action on Saturday, October 1, at Network Rail and 11 train operators.

Transport for Wales is not involved in the industrial action but the knock-on effect means they are unable to operate a number of rail services on the Network Rail infrastructure this Saturday and on Saturday, October 8, while they are preparing for some services to be busier than usual on October 5. Great Western Railway has also warned that on the strike days "train services will be severely disrupted and some parts of the GWR network will have no train service at all" with a spokesman adding: "Train services on the days following the industrial action will also be disrupted." Read more: Why the pound is falling, why it matters and how it happens

The GWR spokesman added that on strike days an extremely limited service will operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm and the last trains will leave much earlier. He added: "Where we are able to run services they are expected to be extremely busy and we are not able to provide bus replacement services. Online journey planners will be updated with the latest timetable information as soon as possible."

Here is how Transport for Wales services will be affected:

Saturday, October 1, and Saturday, October 8

The advice on both days is very limited rail service and passengers should not attempt to travel by train.

  • The only services operating will be on the Core Valley Lines in south Wales and a Cardiff to Newport shuttle with one train operating hourly in each direction between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
  • No other TfW services across Wales and the Borders network will be able to operate.
  • Train services will operate between Cardiff Central and Rhymney, Treherbert, Aberdare, and Merthyr Tydfil in an hourly service in each direction between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
  • TfW is also warning customers there will be very limited road transport capacity between Radyr and Cardiff before 7.30am and after 6.30pm when TfW is unable to operate trains via Llandaf and Cathays.

Amended timetables for Saturday, October 1, will be available in online journey planners from Tuesday, September 27. Friday, September 30, and Friday, October 7 (the days before the strikes) TfW says there is also expected to be disruption on the days prior to the industrial action and services will be much busier than usual.

Customers are advised to only travel if necessary on Friday, September 30, and Friday, October 7, and to check online journey planners for any short-notice late-night service alterations as a result of the following day's strike action. Sunday, October 2, and Sunday, October 9 No trains will run before 7am on these days and those trains that do run are likely to be much busier than usual - particularly the first services of the day.

There is also expected to be disruption to services due to trains being displaced from the previous day's strike action. In particular services to Cardiff are expected to be busier than usual on the morning on Sunday, October 2, due to numbers of people travelling to take part in the Cardiff half marathon. Customers are urged to check the TfW website, app, or social media before they travel, particularly for the first services of the day from their station of origin. Services on these days are to be extremely busy and customers are encouraged to travel via the alternative dates of Monday, October 3, or Monday, October 10.

Wednesday, October 5 TfW is warning services are likely to be extremely busy as a result of the severely reduced timetable put in place by other operators. This includes:

  • Services between Carmarthen and Newport
  • Services between Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton
  • Services between Cardiff and Cheltenham
  • Services between Chester and Holyhead
  • Services between Chester and Manchester Airport
  • Services between Crewe and Manchester Piccadilly

Due to the closure of Birmingham New Street station services between north Wales and Birmingham International will terminate at Wolverhampton.

Customers are advised to only travel if necessary and customers are encouraged to travel via the alternative dates of Tuesday, October 4, or Thursday, October 6. Amended timetables for Wednesday, October 5, will be in online journey planners from Thursday, September 29. If you have a ticket there is some advice from TfW.

Advance ticket holders are entitled to change their journey using the Book with Confidence offer and the change of journey fees should be waived if applied before 6pm the day before travel. You're still able to change your tickets after this time, and up until the departure, but a change of journey fee of GBP10 will apply to each ticket changed. Customers with anytime, off-peak, or advance tickets, also ranger/rover tickets, for a company strike and dated for October 1, 5, or 8 are permitted to travel either on the day before the date on the ticket or up to October 11.

If you have a return ticket and cannot make your outward journey because of a strike you're permitted a refund on your ticket even if the latter is not affected by a strike. The same applies if the return journey is affected by a strike but the outward was not. Alternatively customers can claim a full refund with no admin fee charged.

Season ticket holders can apply for compensation via Delay Repay. Great Western Railway says that customers who have already purchased tickets for strike days can claim a full refund or amend their ticket while those who travel and are delayed may be entitled to Delay Repay compensation if they are delayed by 15 minutes or more. Season ticket holders can apply for compensation through the Delay Repay scheme.

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