The union RMT has announced a second day of rail strike for 8 October.
More than 40,000 workers at Network Rail and 15 other operators will walk out as part of the long-standing dispute over salaries, jobs and working conditions.
Disruption will affect services on Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and GTR – including Gatwick Express.
The news comes a few days after the union declared a strike for 1 October, which is expected to bring the country to “an effective standstill.”
Members will join train drivers from the union Aslef, who will walk out in a dispute over salaries on 1 and 5 October, disrupting major events such as the London Marathon and the Conservative Party conference.
RMT’s general secretary Mick Whelan said that, while it was encouraging that the new transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan had met with the union, no offer has been presented yet.
“As no new offer has been tabled, our members have no choice but to continue this strike action,” he said.
“We will continue to negotiate in good faith, but the employers and government need to understand our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes.”
Commenting on the announcement, a Network Rail spokesperson said: “This latest strike will again mean very significant disruption for passengers, and we’ll be asking people to only travel if absolutely necessary due to the reduced service that will be in place.
“Full timetables for all upcoming strike days will be published in due course.”
Network Rail’s remarks were echoed by the Rail Delivery Group, who said the “RMT leadership should commit to serious reform,” and from the DfT, who called the strike action “incredibly disappointing.”
“Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation but all more strikes will do is take it back to the dark ages and push passengers further away,” added a government spokesperson.
Whelan has previously called on Trevelyan to adopt fresh approach to rail disputes, facilitating discussions between workers and companies.
“There is clearly now the opportunity for a new approach from the government to facilitate discussions between the RMT and the employers where the train companies and Network Rail are given more flexibility to secure a deal that is in the interests of workers, passengers and the country as a whole,” he said in a letter following the secretary’s appointment on 7 September.