Industrial action

18 and 20 August

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) and TSSA have announced strike action will take place on Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August, which will significantly disrupt the rail network across the whole of the UK.

Transport for Wales is not in dispute with the unions. However, the industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail means we’ll be unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.

The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended on 18 August and 20 August.

Our journey planners have been updated with the latest information. Please plan ahead and make sure to check your entire journey.

Wednesday 17 August Only travel by rail if necessary. Expect services to be busy with some disruption to late evening services
Thursday 18 August No rail services¹ - do not travel by train
Friday 19 August Only travel by rail if necessary. Expect services to be busy with some disruption to early morning and late evening services
Saturday 20 August No rail services¹ - do not travel by train
Sunday 21 August Only travel by rail if necessary. Expect services to be busy with some disruption to early morning services
Monday 22 August Normal timetable. Expect services to be busier than usual

1 Except for an essential travel only reduced service between Cardiff Central - Merthyr Tydfil/Aberdare/Treherbert/Rhymney. The infrastructure on these routes is owned by Transport for Wales. We're also operating an hourly Cardiff - Newport service. Timetabled rail replacement buses will also not run except evening timetabled rail replacement buses on valleys services on 18 August

 

  • TfW - Industrial action network map
    • TfW - Industrial action network map

  • 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.

      There will be no Passenger Assistance available on all other service as they will be suspended 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).
  • FAQ
    • Are Transport for Wales employees on strike?

      No, TfW colleagues have not been balloted and are not on strike. This dispute is between the RMT union and both Network Rail and a number of English-based train operators.

      Why are TfW services affected by this strike if your employees aren’t involved?

      The vast majority of the rail infrastructure – the track and signalling – in Wales and the Borders is owned and managed by Network Rail. As Network Rail employees are taking industrial action, this significantly reduces the number of trains that can run on the network.

      Part of the rail network in Wales – the Core Valley Lines in South Wales – is owned and managed by TfW directly. As a result, we’re able to run a reduced rail service on the lines north of Cardiff.

      Will any rail services be running?

      Full details of the timetable will be confirmed soon.

      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. Most of this impact is likely to be in the morning due to services not being able to leave our depots until the Network Rail signallers start work. We strongly advise customers to check before travelling throughout the period affected by industrial action.

      Why aren’t you able to run replacement bus services instead?

      Due to the sheer scale of the disruption caused by the industrial action, it wouldn’t be possible to source enough buses to provide a replacement service. 

      The majority of bus operators across Wales and the Borders already have busy schedules throughout the day, and there aren’t enough buses in Wales and the Borders to provide an adequate level of replacement across the whole network. 

      However, we are working hard with our teams to ensure we have additional staff available at stations to support customers who may be affected by the disruption. 

      The key priority for us will be in providing accurate information for people so the understand when the disruption is happening, and which limited services may be operating, so that they can plan alternative means of travel.  
      We’re continuing to work with our industry partners to find ways of potentially expanding the service we provide for future industrial action.

      I’ve bought tickets to travel on one of the days affected – can I get a refund?

      Advance ticket holders are entitled to change their journey using the ‘Book with Confidence’ and the change of journey fees should be waived if applied before 18:00 the day before travel. You're still able to change your tickets after this time, and up until the departure, but a change of journey fee of £10 will apply to each ticket changed.

      Customers with Anytime, Off-Peak or Advance tickets, also Ranger/Rover tickets, for a TOC on strike – dated for 18 or 20 August are permitted to travel either on the day before the date on the ticket or up to 23 August 2022. 

      If you have a return ticket and cannot make your outward journey because of a strike, you're permitted a refund on your ticket even if the latter is not affected by a strike. The same applies if the return journey is affected by a strike but the outward was not.

      Alternatively, customers can claim a full refund, with no admin fee charged. Season ticket holders can apply for compensation via Delay Repay.

      What happens if I have a return journey booked that is affected by industrial action?

      If you have a return trip planned where the outward or return journey is affected by the industrial action, you can claim a refund or compensation for the full journey

      I have two Advance Purchase tickets booked and the outward journey is affected by the dates of the action but the return isn’t – if I choose not to travel at all can I get a refund for both?

      Refunds will be available for both journeys.

      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.

      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, as we won’t be able to run trains on Network Rail infrastructure. We’ll provide as much capacity as we possibly can on those services that are running.

      Will other train companies be running instead?

      Along with Network Rail, people working for 13 train operators will take part in the industrial action:

      • Avanti West Coast
      • c2c
      • Chiltern Railways
      • CrossCountry
      • East Midlands Railway
      • Great Western Railway (GWR)
      • Greater Anglia
      • London North Eastern Railway (LNER)
      • Northern Trains
      • South Eastern Railway
      • South Western Railway
      • TransPennine Express
      • West Midlands Trains

      As a result, only a very small number of services will be operating throughout the entire British rail network. These will be concentrated around key routes and are likely to be extremely busy. We advise checking with individual operators about their service provision, but most operators are advising against travelling on affected days.

     

    Existing tickets

    Advance ticket holders are entitled to change their journey using the ‘Book with Confidence’ and the change of journey fees should be waived if applied before 18:00 the day before travel. You're still able to change your tickets after this time, and up until the departure, but a change of journey fee of £10 will apply to each ticket changed.

    Customers with Anytime, Off-Peak or Advance tickets, also Ranger/Rover tickets, for a TOC on strike – dated for 18 or 20 August are permitted to travel either on the day before the date on the ticket or up to 23 August 2022. 

    If you have a return ticket and cannot make your outward journey because of a strike, you're permitted a refund on your ticket even if the latter is not affected by a strike. The same applies if the return journey is affected by a strike but the outward was not.

    Alternatively, customers can claim a full refund, with no admin fee charged. Season ticket holders can apply for compensation via Delay Repay.

    In the meantime, we've suspended sales of Advance tickets for the strike dates in order to minimise the number of people disrupted. We're advising customers continue to check the TfW or Traveline websites, and those of other operators, for updates.

    We’ve arranged ticket acceptance with the following to allow customers to travel with other operators. As services are probably busy we recommend checking with the operator for advice before your journey.

    • Other train operators - Passengers can travel on available services with Avanti, CrossCountry, GWR, Northern, Transpennine Express and West Midlands Trains between 18 and 21 August.
    • Ferry operators – Passengers can travel on Stena Line and Irish Ferries anytime between 17 and 23 August if they have tickets valid for travel on the 18 and 20 August.
    • Bus operators – Passengers can travel on the TrawsCymru T1/T5 services anytime between 17 and 23 August if they have tickets valid for travel on the 18 and 20 August.
       

    For more information on the industrial action please visit the National Rail website.