Brits are bracing for fresh industrial action on the railways this week, with the RMT and ASLEF unions having announced planned walkouts on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – which is the day of three major sporting events.
It is the latest action in an ongoing pay dispute between the unions and government, which began in May last year and has seen thousands of workers from train operators across the country walk out.
As of this week, a resolution feels further away than ever.
ASLEF, who represent 16 train operating companies, are striking after refusing multiple pay offers from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and the RMT, who cover 14, saw 90 per cent of its members back further action after a re-ballot in early May.
But what can Brits expect in the coming days?
Derby day chaos
Saturday’s strike has caused the most controversy, coinciding with the highly anticipated Manchester derby FA cup final, the Epsom derby in Surrey and the England vs Ireland test cricket match at Lords.
Much has been made of the clash with the football final, but the Epsom derby in Surrey will be particularly tough for punters to get to, with travel options already limited and strike action set to coincide with both days.
South West Railway (SWR), which operate routes through London, Surrey and all the way to Southampton, have said their services will be “significantly reduced,” with large parts of the network closed on Friday and Saturday.
Trains from Thameslink, Southern, Gatwick Express or Great Northern will also be affected across both days, leaving options desperately limited.
And one last spanner in the works – the closest nearby stations, Tattenham Corner, Epsom Downs and Epsom, are all shut.
Which other operators are affected?
Many services are running no trains on affected days, and the ones that are running are significantly reduced, with later starts and earlier finishes.
Many operators have also warned of on-the-day cancellations.
No Avanti West Coast trains will operate on Wednesday or Saturday, and Friday will see much reduced services. The operator warned that “services that do run are expected to be busy.”
London North Eastern Railway has said they will be running a reduced service on all affected dates.
From King’s Cross, passengers can expect to see earlier finishes and later starts throughout the affected days, with some exceptions.
There will be no trains north of Edinburgh on Wednesday or Saturday.
Thursday, although not a strike day, will also see minor changes to the timetable.
Thameslink will see no trains on Wednesday or Saturday, and a limited service on Friday.
All services running on Friday will see only one to two trains per hour.
London Northwestern will operate no services on Wednesday or Saturday and a limited service on Friday, with operating hours between 7am and 7pm only.
One train per hour will operate between London Euston and Birmingham, Milton Keynes Central, and Northampton.
The service also warned that some on the day cancellations may occur on Thursday.
WEST MIDLANDS RAILWAY
No West Midlands trains will run on Wednesday or Saturday.
In the capital, one train per hour will operate from London Euston to Birmingham, Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Some on the day cancellations will occur on Thursday, with a limited service on Friday.
GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY
An extremely limited service will operate on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and all routes must be completed between 7:30am and 18:30pm.
A much reduced service will see some trains run west from London Paddington on the affected days.
No Southern trains will run on Wednesday and Saturday. Thursday is also likely to see “knock-on disruption” as well as an overtime working ban.
Friday will see a limited service, with most services through and outside of London operating one to two trains per hour.
No Southeastern trains will run on Wednesday or Saturday and a limited service will operate on Friday, with no replacement buses.
Full service can be expected on Thursday.
Chiltern Railways will see no trains run on Wednesday and Saturday this week.
A “very limited” service will operate on Friday with only essential travel advised. Most lines will see one train per hour and there will be no service from Banbury to Birmingham and Hatton to Stratford upon Avon.
Thursday will also see some knock-on disruption with an amended timetable.
Cross Country will operate no trains on Wednesday and Saturday.
Western routes between Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff will see major disruption and limited service on Friday.
EAST MIDLANDS RAILWAY
East Midlands Railway will see no trains run on Wednesday and Saturday.
Friday will see a significantly reduced service, with the operator expecting “severe disruption.” Services will run between 7:30am and 6:30pm.
No trains will run on Wednesday or Saturday.
Friday will see a limited service, with Thursday affected by an overtime ban
No services operating on Wednesday or Saturday, with limited travel on Fridays and knock-on disruption on Thursday
There will also be no rail replacement buses on any strike day for Northern Rail services.
The operators also warn that some Northern stations may be closed or have reduced hours due to limited staffing, the operator warns.
Greater Anglia will be hit by strikes on all three days.
Most routes on Wednesday will have no service at all, but there will be an hourly service between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, Colchester and Southend Victoria. There will be one train every two hours between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street until early evening.
Trains will run from 7am on Friday and Saturday, with all trains reaching their final destination by 11pm.
Morning disruption can also be expected on Sunday.
No services will operate on Wednesday and Saturday, and a limited service will operate on Friday.
Friday will see routes between Manchester Piccadilly and York, Preston to Manchester Airport, and Sheffield to Cleethorpes.
C2C have said services “will not be greatly affected by the industrial action,” but trains may be busier than usual.
Airport Express Lines
There will be no Gatwick Express services operating between Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June. The airport will still be serviced by Thameslink and Southern on the Friday.
Trains will operate a reduced service on all days of the strike.
On Wednesday and Saturday, the first train from Liverpool Street to Stansted airport departs at 04:40, with trains subsequently running 40 minutes past every hour. The first trains from Stansted Airport to London will leave at 5:43 and will then run at 43 minutes past every hour.
On Friday, the first train from Liverpool Street to Stansted departs at ten past 7 with 2 trains per hour. The first train from Stansted Airport to London leaves at 8:15 am with a maximum of two trains per hour.
Services will also start later on Thursday.
Heathrow Express will see a half hourly service between 7am and 7pm on Wednesday.
On Saturday, there will be no service all day.