ScotRail passengers warned of disruption in fresh wave of strikes

ScotRail customers have been warned to expect significant disruption during the latest wave of train strikes.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union who are Network Rail employees will walk out on Saturday November 5, Monday November 7 and Wednesday November 9 in an increasingly bitter dispute over pay and working conditions.

The strike will hit train services across the UK and a very limited number of ScotRail services will run.

ScotRail staff are not involved directly, but it will have a major impact on the operator’s ability to run services.

Many of the Network Rail staff striking work in safety-critical roles, which means many services are unable to run.

ScotRail has confirmed it will operate a similar service level as previous strike action on October 1 and 8, with 11 routes across the central belt, Fife and the Borders running between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

Final services will depart before 6.30pm so customers have been urged to plan ahead, particularly those attending the Scotland v Fiji rugby match at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon.

Disruption is also expected on the days following strike action as signal boxes resume normal operations.

Customers with advance, off-peak, or anytime tickets dated November 5, 7 or 9 can use it for travel the day before, or up to and including Friday November 11.

Travellers can also change their tickets to an alternate date or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “Once again, it’s really disappointing to see the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT result in more widespread disruption across the whole Great Britain rail network at a time when we need to be encouraging more people back to the railway.

“For ScotRail, it’s going to mean that we won’t be able to operate the vast majority of our services, which we know will be really frustrating for our customers.

“ScotRail customers should expect significant disruption to services on strike days, as well as on the days after industrial action.

“We’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if you really need to on the days of strike action.

“Customers should check your journey in advance to make sure your train is running if you’re travelling on one of the days following strike action.”

Rail Strikes
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The dishonesty of Network Rail bosses has reached a new low in this national rail dispute.

“On the one hand they were telling our negotiators that they were prepared to do a deal, while planning to torpedo negotiations by imposing unacceptable changes to our members’ terms and conditions.

“Our members are livid with these duplicitous tactics, and they will now respond in kind with sustained strike action.”

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “It’s so frustrating that passengers are yet again facing heavy disruption or cancellations to their rail journeys because of unnecessary strike action by unions.

“A fair and affordable two-year 8% deal, with heavily discounted travel and an improved offer of job security to January 2025 remains on the table, which could bring this dispute to an end.

“I understand how disappointing this disruption is for rail users, however I must ask that they only travel if absolutely necessary during strike days.”

ScotRail will operate the following services on strike days:

Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High: two trains per hour;
Edinburgh Waverley to Helensburgh Central: two trains per hour (on November 5 this will operate Edinburgh Waverley to Dalmuir only due to pre-planned engineering works);
Glasgow Central to Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour;
Glasgow Central to Lanark: two trains per hour;
Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Central via Shotts: one train per hour;
Edinburgh Waverley to Cowdenbeath: two trains per hour;
Edinburgh Waverley to Tweedbank: two trains per hour;
Edinburgh Waverley to Larbert: one train per hour;
Glasgow Queen Street to Larbert: one train per hour;
Glasgow Queen Street to Falkirk Grahamston: one train per hour;
Milngavie to Springburn: two trains per hour.