Train strikes: Six-day pay action by drivers threatens chaos despite Tube deal

Train drivers are taking industrial action  (PA)
Train drivers are taking industrial action (PA)

Holidaymakers and football fans were on Thursday warned of looming travel chaos as train drivers began six days of action in support of a pay rise.

But some good news came in that a separate Tube strike was called off.

However the Aslef train strikes affect 16 companies across the country, with the operators having to suspend services on different days. The walkouts are due to start on Friday and continue on Saturday and Monday, but there will be a knock-on impact on non-strike days with further problems caused by an overtime ban that started today and continues until next Tuesday.

The Gatwick Express service — which links the airport with Victoria station and Brighton — was suspended on Thursday. It will also be out of action on Friday and on Monday and Tuesday.

Passengers were instead able to use Southern and Thameslink trains to reach the airport or return home. However, the airport will be worst hit on Monday when there will be no Southern, Thameslink or Gatwick Express services.

A limited shuttle service between Victoria and the airport will run, though there will be “significantly fewer trains than usual”, with services starting later in the morning and finishing earlier at night.

An airport spokesman said: “We strongly advise passengers travelling to and from Gatwick to use other transport options on this day where possible and allow extra time to reach the airport. We also advise passengers to book alternative transport in advance, as taxi services at the airport will be extremely busy.”

Luton airport will also be affected, with no East Midlands Railway trains from St Pancras on Friday and no Thameslink trains on Monday. England Women play Sweden at Wembley at 8pm tomorrow, kicking off their qualifying campaign for the 2025 Euros.

Tube services to Wembley Park and Wembley Central stations will be operating normally but Wembley Stadium station will be closed due to the impact of the strike on Chiltern services.