Train passengers have been warned to expect significant disruption next week as rail workers take further strike action in a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
The RMT union has announced its members at Network Rail will take strike action on January 3, 4, 6 and 7.
The dispute does not involve ScotRail staff but will have a major impact on the train operator’s ability to provide services as many of the Network Rail workers walking out occupy safety-critical roles.
On strike days, and on the non-strike day of Thursday January 5, ScotRail will run services on 12 routes across the central belt, Fife, and the Borders between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
It comes after RMT members took strike action over Christmas which affected ScotRail services, with no trains from early evening on Christmas Eve until December 27.
David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “It’s really disappointing to see more widespread disruption across the whole Great Britain rail network as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT 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 between January 3 and 7, which we know will be really frustrating for our customers.
“We’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to on the days of strike action.
“Customers should check their journey in advance to make sure your train is running.”
The train operator is warning customers that the final services will depart well before 6.30pm and urged them to plan ahead and ensure they know when their last train will leave.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The union remains available for talks to resolve this dispute.
“But until the Government gives the rail industry a mandate to come to a negotiated settlement on job security, pay and condition of work, our industrial campaign will continue into the new year, if necessary.”
ScotRail said the routes and frequency of service which will be in operation on the four strike days are:
Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High: two trains per hour.
Edinburgh Waverley to Helensburgh Central: two trains per hour.
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 North Berwick: one train 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.
A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesperson said: “The Transport Secretary and Rail Minister have facilitated talks and ensured a fair and reasonable offer was put forward, which the RMT rejected despite a significant number of members voting to accept.
“We urge the RMT to step back, reconsider and accept the fair offer put to them, so we can start 2023 by ending this damaging dispute.”