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UK Rail Strikes EDIT: **CANCELED** Again

Network Rail workers (the people who maintain the track and run the signalling which allows trains to run and run safely) have announced that their nationwide strikes are on again, and this time extended.

There will be a nationwide 24 hour strike from 17:00 (5pm) on next Thursday the 4th of June to 17:00 on Friday. Expect trains to be cancelled nationwide most of the day on Thursday and Friday, with problems remaining on the weekend.

There will also be a second nationwide strike. The second strike is a 48 hour one from 17:00 (5pm) on the following Tuesday the 9th of June to 17:00 on that Thursday. Expect trains to be cancelled nationwide most of the week.

EDIT Once again suspended - or postponed - as at noon British Summer Time Monday 1 June.

Posted by
6678 posts

wow. Thanks for the info, Nigel. This could really affect some of our travelers! (Not to mention all the commuting and traveling Brits and others who live in Britain!)

Posted by
27 posts

will this affect eurostar? planning on traveling to Brussels on the 10th?

Posted by
1063 posts

"will this affect eurostar? planning on traveling to Brussels on the 10th?"

I would imagine so, as Eurostar uses the same track out of St Pancras.

Posted by
69 posts

We are planning to take the Eurostar between London and Brussels on those dates as well. The Eurostar website says:

"We are not expecting Eurostar trains to be affected by this strike, for passengers intending to travel within Belgium, we recommend that you check http://www.belgianrail.be for the latest updates."

Posted by
31303 posts

Nigel,

Staging the strike during the busy tourist season will probably result in some "pressure" being applied to get the trains moving again. Is possible that management personnel will step in to operate the signalling on the EuroStar run to keep the trains moving? I've suffered through a few strikes, and that's the usual routine.

Posted by
8889 posts

Ken,
High Speed One, the High Speed Rail line from London to the Channel Tunnel is an exception, It is not owned by Network Rail (the company whose employees are going on strike), it is a different company. It is actually run by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan under a concession agreement (honestly!). The Channel Tunnel itself is owned by Eurotunnel, a different company again.
What I don't know is who operates the signalling for the last few hundred metres into St Pancras itself, but if Eurostar say there will run then it is probably not Network Rail.

"Staging the strike during the busy tourist season will probably result in some "pressure" being applied to get the trains moving again" - I doubt it. The pressure will come from the travellers who commute or otherwise travel by rail, they are voters. Foreign tourists are a small minority and are not of significant importance.

Posted by
4671 posts

That comment on the website is talking about the BELGIAN strike yesterday.

Posted by
69 posts

Ah. Read it too quickly. Thank you.

In that case, any suggestions on the best cost effective and relatively quick method of getting from London to Antwerp during the strike, assuming Eurostar is not running? We are on a bit of a tight schedule in Antwerp and would hate to miss too much time there.

I've looked into car rentals, but it seems that one-way international rentals are not an option from the UK to mainland Europe. This is the first time I've looked into European car rental, so if this sounds incorrect, then perhaps some advice on making that reservation work? On the Sixt website, it does say that international one-way rentals are prohibited. Do you know of any companies that allow it? Beyond that, it seems that my options are flying EasyJet or British Airways into Brussels, then take a train to Antwerp.

Thank you for any help you can provide in suggesting a back up plan!

Posted by
145 posts

Oh no, we're traveling in London and using Eurostar to Paris that day. So the tube will be shutdown (if the issue isn't resolved) but not
the Eurostar to Paris? Tks for the heads up!

Posted by
6678 posts

I don't think the Tube will be affected (but one of our UK residents can correct me). Check out the Travel for London website for updates on Tube service.

Posted by
4536 posts

Parts of the London Underground/Overground that run on National Rail shared or owned infrastructure may be affected.

Some services will run. For one thing the TSSA will not be taking action yet as they have decided to reballot their members which the RMT didn't do. Gives a lot of work to the emergency timetablers.

Posted by
1063 posts

"I've looked into car rentals, but it seems that one-way international rentals are not an option from the UK to mainland Europe."

Don't forget that you'll have the added problem of the steering wheel being on the wrong side for continental Europe and the extra safety equipment you'll need to carry.

Posted by
4671 posts

The Eurostar website is now saying that they will be able to give information on how the strikes will affect their services early next week.

Posted by
135 posts

Latest news is that the RMT railway workers union, and Network Rail, will be meeting at a conciliation service provider (ACAS) over the next few days, to see if they can thrash out a resolution before the strikes are due to start. Stay tuned to UK news to hear if the strikes are postponed or cancelled - this may not be known until well into next week though.

Posted by
219 posts

I am guessing that the Heathrow Express to Paddington will also be affected? Thanks.

Posted by
26020 posts

The good news is that the two sides met for three days over the weekend.

The bad news is that they don't appear to have made any progress.

For specific questions about individual trips consult the website of the company providing the service.

For that Heathrow Express question see https://www.heathrowexpress.com/timetable-schedule/service-plans

Currently Heathrow Express are saying on that site that all their services are cancelled on strike day.

Posted by
1293 posts

Emma, just to confirm is it the meeting you want cancelled? Or Stevenage? ;-)

Posted by
42 posts

Woohoo! Really glad they were able to make a deal that both sides seem happy with.

And thanks to those of you who shared this info on the boards. I wouldn't have known otherwise (as this didn't seem to make the US news at all) and we have planned rail travel on all the strike dates! We've been watching very closely!! 32 hours til I'm in London!!!

Posted by
8889 posts

Nothing wrong with Stevenage! I went to Junior school there, and later lived there for a few years.
Now, if I had to name somewhere with absolutely no attraction for tourists, Stevenage would be high on the list; except for Knebworth House, which is technically not in Stevenage.

Posted by
26020 posts

Well, that shouldn't be too hard. All we have to do is get Rick Steves interested in Formula 1, get him following Lewis Hamilton, and then have Lewis win the season this year and maybe another. Then maybe he'll put Mr Hamilton's hometown in the book.

Posted by
219 posts

Nigel, et al, Thank you for the updates and info. Great info!