Train strikes: Edinburgh Scotrail runs 'skeleton service' as RMT strike suspended at last minute
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Network Rail members were due to stage a major walk-out on Saturday, November 5, Monday, November 7, and Wednesday, November 9. However, RMT suspended the strike on Friday afternoon at the final hour, to allow for further pay negotiations. ScotRail services were set to be significantly impacted by the strike, despite staff not being involved in the dispute.
The train operator’s services will still be significantly reduced on Saturday, due to the last minute cancellation of the strike. David Simpson, ScotRail’s Service Delivery Director, said they were working "hard to restore the timetable to normal as soon as possible”, but he said that “this will take time”. He added: “It’s too late to restore a full timetable for Saturday because of the complexity of rewriting timetables and rosters for thousands of our staff.”
Rail passengers will be faced with a skeleton timetable, with trains running on 11 routes between 7.30am and 6.30pm, mainly in the Central Belt. ScotRail has urged customers to plan ahead and to check their journey before travel, as disruption is likely.
These are the ScotRail services that will run on Saturday:
Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High: two trains per hourEdinburgh Waverley – Helensburgh Central: two trains per hour (on 5 November this will operate Edinburgh Waverley - Dalmuir only due to pre-planned engineering works)
Glasgow Central – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour
Glasgow Central – Lanark: two trains per hour
Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Central via Shotts: one train per hour
Edinburgh Waverley – Cowdenbeath: two trains per hour
Edinburgh Waverley – Tweedbank: two trains per hour
Edinburgh Waverley - Larbert: one train per hour
Glasgow Queen Street – Larbert: one train per hour
Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston: one train per hour
Milngavie – Springburn: two trains per hour
However, while the planned strike action has been suspended, the RMT union has threatened to take up further action if pay demands are not met. Mick Lynch, the union's general secretary, said the dispute with Network Rail remained "very much live", but added: "The threat of strike action and our strongly supported industrial campaign has made the rail employers see sense.
"We have always wanted to secure a negotiated settlement and that is what we will continue to push for in this next phase of intensive talks.
"Our priority is our members, and we are working towards securing a deal on job security, a decent pay rise and good working conditions.”
However, Scottish travellers may face further disruption, as ScotRail RMT members are set to walkout every Friday and Saturday in the run up to Christmas, as part of a dispute with Scotland's rail operator.
David Simpson, ScotRail’s Service Delivery Director, said he welcomed the suspension of this weeks strikes, and added: “Strike action does nothing for the railway’s recovery or reputation at this fragile time. It impacts customers, staff, and the economy.”