Rail passengers across Wales and Borders reminded to plan ahead and only travel if absolutely necessary as industrial action hits first week of January services: Cardiff Central empty 210622-03.2

Thursday 29 Dec 2022

Rail passengers across Wales and Borders reminded to plan ahead and only travel if absolutely necessary as industrial action hits first week of January services

Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western

Network Rail is reminding passengers of severe disruption to train services next week as the rail industry gears up for five consecutive days of strikes by the RMT and ASLEF trade unions, starting on Tuesday 3 January 2023

  • 48-hour strike action on Tuesday 3 & Wednesday 4, and Friday 6 & Saturday 7 January by RMT, and on Thursday 5 January by ASLEF, will result in severe disruption to train services with some parts of the rail network having no services at all
  • On RMT strike days an extremely limited service will operate from 07.30 and all journeys must be completed by 18.30; first trains will start later, and the last trains will leave much earlier
  • On the ASLEF strike day, no GWR, Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry or West Midlands Railway services will operate on the Wales and Borders network
  • Disruption should also be expected on the morning of Sunday 8 January where there could be short-notice cancellations and alterations as the railway recovers from the previous days’ strikes
  • Passengers are urged to only travel if absolutely necessary where trains are operating and find alternative ways to make their journey, where possible

The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended on 3 - 4, 6 - 7 January, during the latest period of industrial action announced by the RMT union, with very limited services due to run on Thursday 05 January, due to ASLEF union strike action.

Thousands of specially trained and fully qualified back-up staff will step in during the RMT walkouts on 3-4 and 6-7 January to keep vital services running for those who need them. On RMT strike days, around half of the network will shut down, with only about 10% of normal services running across Wales.

Transport for Wales is not involved in the industrial action, however, the dispute between the unions and Network Rail means services will not be able to run on Network Rail infrastructure on RMT strike dates.

On 3, 4, 6 and 7 January, a reduced service will run East of Cardiff and between Cardiff Central and Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr and Rhymney.

On Thursday 5 January, no GWR, CrossCountry, Avanti West Coast or West Midlands Railway services will run anywhere on the Wales and Borders route. Passengers are advised to seek alternative transport as Transport for Wales services are expected to be very busy.

Passengers are encouraged to check with their train operators for the latest information on services, ticket acceptance and how to claim a refund, as well as visiting the National Rail Enquiries website.

Meanwhile, the RMT has an overtime ban in place at 14 train operating companies until 2 January that will continue to affect the level of cancellations and the punctuality of some services. This action may particularly affect those travelling out of London late in the evening on New Year’s Eve and passengers are advised to plan their journey in advance.

Nick Millington, interim route director at Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “It’s disappointing that, once again, we’re having to ask passengers not to travel by train unless absolutely necessary in the first week of the new year, due to further strike action by both the RMT and ASLEF trades unions.

“As a result of this industrial action, train services will be severely disrupted, starting Tuesday 3 through to, and including, Saturday 7 January - another near weeklong period of disruption for passengers.

“I’d like to apologise to passengers for this latest period of disruption which nobody wants to continue. Our offer to the union still stands, and our door remains open for constructive conversation."

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Wales route
0771 094 0248

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