The train drivers' union ASLEF has announced strike action at 16 Train Operating Companies (not including TfW) on Saturday 30 September and Wednesday 4 October and a ban on overtime from Monday 2 October to Friday 6 October.
Transport for Wales (TfW) is not involved in industrial action by members of the train driver’s union ASLEF.
TfW services will be running but other train operators' services across the whole of Wales, England and Scotland will be limited. Some of our services are likely to be extremely busy as a result of the severely-reduced timetable put in place by other operators.
The following dates are affected by this industrial action:
- Saturday 30 September
- Wednesday 4 October
Please check your entire journey, including services operated by other rail operators as their service level may differ to Transport for Wales.
Passenger Assist advice
Is Passenger Assistance available on strike days?
A “turn up a go” assistance is available on services between Radyr and Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil, however we advise customers not to travel by train on strike days.
Is Passenger Assistance available on non-strike days?
A “turn up and go’ and booked Passenger Assistance will be available on non-strike days, however we are advising customers only make essential journeys by train on non-strike days. Trains are expected to be extremely busy throughout the entire week.
How do I change Passenger Assistance Booking?
If you have booked Passenger Assistance before the industrial action was announced, our Passenger Assist team will be in contact with you imminently to discuss and rearrange your assistance requirements. If you have not received contact from our Passenger Assist team, please contact them by:
- By phone: call our Passenger Assist team on 03330 050 501 (Open 24 hours every day, except Christmas Day).
- By Next Generation Text: call our Passenger Assist team via text relay service on 18001 03330 050 501 (Open 24 hours every day, except Christmas Day).
Are Transport for Wales employees on strike?
No, TfW colleagues have not been balloted and are not on strike. This dispute is between the ASLEF union and a number of English-based train operators.
Why are TfW services affected by this strike if your employees aren’t involved?
Some of our services are likely to be extremely busy as a result of the severely-reduced timetable put in place by other operators.
Will services be back to normal the day after a strike?
We plan to run our normal timetables the day after industrial action takes place. However, it’s likely that services will be affected by knock-on disruption while the network gets back to normal. We strongly advise customers to check before travelling throughout the period affected by industrial action.
If the strike is called off, will trains run?
Due to the amount of planning and preparation that we undertake ahead of days affected by industrial action, there is a “point of no return” where even if the action is called off, we will have to go ahead with our reduced service. This is expected to be about 24 hours ahead of a strike.
Why can’t services be reinstated if strikes are called off?
You need at least three things to run a timetable.
- 1. Train Diagram - That maps out where each train starts and finishes and where it goes in between - including fuelling and maintenance stops etc. To make efficient use of fuel/staff/available infrastructure, any given train will do 3 or 4 journeys a day it starts from one depot and it needs to return to another for fuelling/maintenance overnight. These diagrams repeat over a period of weeks.
- 2. Staff diagram - That maps out where members of staff need to join the train, when they need to take breaks and how they get back to their home station at the end of their shift. These diagrams apply to train crew, drivers, ticket inspectors, guards etc. So for example X starts their shift in Cardiff, runs up to Holyhead and then to two other destinations before returning to their home depot.
- 3. A train path - Clearance for individual trains (provided by Network Rail) on the track so multiple trains can run to time/interact with each other sensibly and efficiently - including with other track users such as freight and track maintenance teams.
- 4. When we change timetables, it’s not just a case of changing the timing of individual trains, you need to bring all three of those variables together and make them work as a coherent timetable. In the normal course of things, bringing these together to create a timetable can take weeks.
- 5. For strike days train companies have to build their simplified timetables around the level of staff they have available - they have to assume that some cohorts of staff won’t work because the majority belong to the Union which has called a strike - so they are not rostered (They are replaced by back up and properly safety competent staff to run a strike timetable). The reduction in services also means staff in non-striking roles are not rostered because there are no trains in the plan for them to work from. In the days ahead of the strikes, trains are moved so they are in the right place to run the much-simplified strike timetable.
- 6. Short notice cancellation of strike action means that we need to plan all of these diagrams to meet the timetables for a normal week day timetable and that’s made harder because lots of trains, crew etc are not in the right place - i.e. they are for the strike timetable but not a normal one.
- 7. Finally, all of these plans need to be rationalised by Network Rail to make sure everything lines up.
I’m going to a major event on a strike day - will you be running trains?
We’re aware that there are a number of events spread across the days affected by industrial action. However, unfortunately, we’re not able to make exceptions for these. We’ll provide as much capacity as we possibly can on those services that are running.
Will other train companies be running instead?
People working for 16 train operators will take part in the industrial action:
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Railway
- Greater Anglia
- GTR Great Northern Thameslink
- Great Western Railway
- Island Line
- Northern Trains
- Southern/Gatwick Express
- South Western Railway
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains
We advise checking with individual operators about their service provision, but most operators are advising against travelling on affected days.
Metro transformation work
For Metro transformation works across our network that can affect the timetable please visit this page.