The train operator advised its passengers not to travel, saying tickets booked for Christmas Eve would be accepted on Thursday’s services.
The major routes cancelled on Christmas Eve include trains between Derby and Nottingham as well as Leicester and Stansted Airport among others.
Other routes will have a severely reduced service. On Thursday, the general secretary of RMT Mick Lynch confirmed the strike would go ahead as planned.
“This dispute is about a systematic attempt by CrossCountry to undermine the role of the senior conductors and train managers by drafting in other staff to do their jobs,” he said.
“CrossCountry needs to understand that they already have trained and competent guards that are available and ready to work.”
The operator will not run any trains between:
Aberdeen and Edinburgh
Glasgow Central and Edinburgh
Derby and Nottingham
Leicester and Stansted Airport (a bus replacement runs between Leicester and Peterborough)
Cheltenham Spa and Cardiff Central
Newton Abbot and Paignton
Plymouth and Penzance
In addition, a reduced service will be in operation on the Edinburgh and Plymouth, Manchester Piccadilly and Bournemouth, and Birmingham New Street and Leicester routes.
Further disruption is set to take place on New Year’s Eve. CrossCountry said in a statement: “Disruption is to be expected on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as we will only be able to run a very limited timetable, with the cancellation of many of our services.
“We are advising customers to alter their plans where possible and to avoid travel on either Friday December 24 or Friday December 31.”