Rail strikes: Edinburgh and Glasgow ScotRail services to be 'severely' hit by January Network Rail strikes

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‘Vast majority’ of services to be cancelled due to January 2023 Network Rail strikes

ScotRail has warned passengers to expect significant disruption during this week's strike action by RMT members of Network Rail, which will severely affect services in Edinburgh.

Although the dispute does not involve ScotRail staff, it will have a major impact on the train operator’s ability to provide services as the RMT planned action involves Network Rail staff in Scotland. Around 40,000 RMT union members at Network Rail will take UK-wide strike action this Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (January 3, 4, 6, and 7), resulting from a pay dispute with the track and infrastructure operator.

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Many of those occupy safety-critical roles and ScotRail says it will not be possible to run the vast majority of its services. On strike days, this means the train operator will run services on 12 routes across the central belt, Fife, and the Borders between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

Stock photo of Waverly Train Station in Edinburgh, by Lisa Ferguson.Stock photo of Waverly Train Station in Edinburgh, by Lisa Ferguson.
Stock photo of Waverly Train Station in Edinburgh, by Lisa Ferguson.

During the four strike days, only two trains per hour will operate between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High. With two further trains per hour between Edinburgh Waverley and Helensburgh Central. One train will operate every hour from Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Central via Shotts. And two trains per hour will run from Waverley to Cowdenbeath, and Waverley to Tweedbank on the Borders Railway. There will also be one train an hour from Waverley to Larbert, and to North Berwick.

The train operator is warning customers that final services will depart well before 6.30pm, so customers should plan ahead and ensure they know when their last train will depart. Due to the greater reliance on manual signalling outside the Central Belt, Network Rail says it is unable to facilitate passenger services on any other routes on the strike days. On the non-strike day of Thursday, the same limited timetable will be in operation. It is hoped some additional routes can be added, but customers should check the website and journey planner for details before they travel.

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.

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“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 entire journey in advance to make sure their train is running."

There will be no services except on 12 ScotRail routes across the central belt, Fife, and Borders on strike days. For the routes that will operate a service, including on Thursday, customers should only travel if they really need to and should consider alternative options where possible.

In addition to the strike action, there continues to be disruption to some services due to the severe rainfall over recent days, (with more heavy rain expected Tuesday overnight into Wednesday) so customers are advised to check for all the latest information before travelling.