Skip to main content

Industrial Action

During rail strikes and periods of industrial action, the rail industry does all it can to minimise the impact for our passengers and help you plan around it. This page is updated regularly with the latest travel information

Latest News

No further strike action on a nationwide scale has been announced at present - but if this situation changes this page will be updated accordingly.

However, some strike action specifically affecting individual train companies has been announced as follows:

London Overground

Strike action affecting London Overground has been announced by the RMT Union, affecting services on the following dates:

  • 00:01 on Monday 19 February until 23:59 on Tuesday 20 February

  • 00:01 on Monday 4 March until 23:59 on Tuesday 5 March

For the latest information on how this will affect London Overground services, please visit our dedicated industrial action on London Overground page.

LNER

Industrial action affecting LNER has also been announced by the ASLEF union, affecting services on the following dates:

  • Strike action on Friday 1 March

  • An overtime ban by drivers between Thursday 29 February and Saturday 2 March

For the latest information on how this will affect LNER services, please visit our dedicated industrial action on LNER page.

Northern

Industrial action affecting Northern has been announced by the ASLEF Union, affecting services on Friday 1 March.

For the latest information on how this will affect Northern services, please visit our dedicated industrial action on Northern page.

Archive information on the recent nationwide industrial action

On Monday 15 January 2024, the ASLEF Union announced strike action for the following train operators on the following days. Please click the individual links for the latest information for that particular train company:

Tuesday 30 January, affecting:

Wednesday 31 January, affecting:

Friday 2 February, affecting:

Saturday 3 February, affecting:

Monday 5 February, affecting:

Some of these train operators were also subject to an imposed overtime ban until the end of Tuesday 6 February. The impact this had on services differed between different Train Operators. More information on this can be found by clicking on the below links:

On the days where full strike action took place this resulted in little or no services across large areas of the network operated by the affected train companies. Services were also disrupted and started later on the day immediately following a full strike day.

ASLEF industrial action impact

Check before you travel - reduced train services will be operating.

Check before you travel

Tickets

If you purchased your ticket before the strikes were announced then you may be able to use your ticket on an alternative day. For details of alternative ticket arrangements, please visit the FAQ section below, under 'Can I get a refund or travel on a different day?'.

Ticket and refund information

Travel on alternative dates

Customers who purchased Advance, Anytime or Off-Peak tickets before the strikes were announced - before 16 January 2024 - for a journey involving one of the train companies affected (listed above) for travel on a date between Tuesday 30 January and Monday 5 February 2024 will instead be able to use their ticket on either Monday 29 January or up to and including Wednesday 7 February 2024.

This policy does not apply to journeys wholly within the unaffected train companies: Elizabeth line, Heathrow Express, London Overground, Merseyrail, ScotRail, Transport for Wales - except where through tickets are held to or from them for journeys that also involve the affected train companies. 

This policy does not apply to any journeys on the unaffected train companies: Caledonian Sleeper, Grand Central, Hull Trains, Lumo. 

Notes:

  • Journeys should be permitted at as closely matching times as possible to the original booking.   

  • Seat reservations cannot be honoured if you travel on a different day.  

  • Customers who wish to change Advance tickets to travel outside of this easement
    are permitted to do so under the usual Advance ticket terms and conditions. 

Crossing London:

Tickets with a cross-London marker [ † + Maltese Cross] denoting validity on London Underground and DLR services will be valid to use these services on the date shown on the ticket only. Customers using their tickets to travel on an alternative date will need to purchase a separate ticket or pay as you go (contactless or Oyster) for the London Underground or DLR segment of the journey. 

TfL have confirmed that customers will not be able to use London Buses or London Trams as an alternative on any day; nor use London Underground or DLR outside of the valid route and on the date shown as noted above. Customers will be expected to pay for their TfL journeys as normal. 

Fee-free refunds

If you purchased an Advance, Off-Peak or Anytime ticket and choose not to travel at all because your service on either your outward or return journey has been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled then you will be entitled to a fee-free refund or change from the original retailer of your ticket.

In the event of your service being affected by strike action, cross-industry ticket acceptance between different train companies and temporary removal of certain ticket restrictions may be made available.​​​​​​​​

Please note refunds and changes can only be made by the original retailer of your ticket.​

Please contact the train company you are travelling with for more information.​

Can I get a refund if the train I was planning to take is delayed? 

Yes, you are entitled to a refund under Condition 30.1 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel (PDF, 1.1MB). Alternatively, if you choose to travel and your train is delayed for more than 60 minutes you may be able to use your ticket to make your journey at a later date, subject to the restrictions of your ticket. Please contact the train company you are travelling with for more information. 

Will I be eligible for Delay Repay if the train I was planning to take is delayed? 

If the delay to your journey meets the Delay Repay threshold as a result of industrial action, you will be entitled to compensation from the train company that you are travelling with.

Can I get a refund if my train is rescheduled?

Yes, you are entitled to a refund under Condition 30.1 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel (PDF, 1.1MB). If you have purchased a ticket and your train has been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled due to strike action then you will be entitled to a refund or change of journey.

Please contact the retailer of your ticket for more information.  ​​​​​​​

Season tickets

If you have a Season ticket** that is monthly or longer and you cannot travel due to timetable disruption on the day that any strike action has cancelled your service then you can claim 100% compensation for these days through Delay Repay

If you have purchased a Season ticket** and would like a refund you can apply for a refund from the original retailer of your ticket. Please note an admin fee of no more than £10 will apply. Refunds are calculated from the date you return your season ticket and will be the difference between the price you paid and the cost of a ticket or tickets for the period for which you have used the ticket up to and including the date you request a refund.

If you are affected by cancellation or disruption to your journey, you may be entitled to compensation such as Delay Repay.

**If you are a Weekly Season ticket holder and purchased your ticket after the strikes were announced you will only be entitled to compensation if you actually travel and are affected by cancellation or disruption and the delay to your journey meets the Delay Repay threshold. ​

Flexi Season tickets

If you have purchased a Flexi Season ticket and would like a refund due to strike action affecting your journey, you can apply for a refund but an admin fee of no more than £10 will apply. Refunds are calculated from the difference between the price you paid for the Flexi Season and the cost of an Anytime return ticket for each day you have used. If you only have 1 or 2 journeys left on your Flexi Season ticket you may find that no refund is available.

If you had activated a day's worth of travel on a Flexi Season ticket and you cannot travel due to timetable disruption you can claim 100% compensation for these days through Delay Repay.

Weekly season tickets which have not started yet can be refunded, a £10 admin fee may apply.

To make sure that a weekly season ticket is the best value for you if you’re unable to travel during industrial action use our handy Season Ticket Calculator.

Advance tickets

If you purchased an Advance ticket and your chosen train has been affected by industrial action, you may be able to use your ticket on an alternative train on the same route. If you choose not to travel you may be able to amend when you travel fee-free by contacting the original retailer of your ticket up until 18:00 the day before you travel. ​​

Alternatively, customers with a ticket for travel on a strike day can instead use their ticket on an alternative date, see Can I get a refund or travel on a different day? above.

Why have you paused Advance tickets?

We have suspended the sale of Advance fares on strike days until the timetable for the strike days have been finalised. We do not want to mislead customers into thinking that we are able to run a full service or sell them tickets for trains that may not run. ​

It is likely that we will be running many fewer services on strike days and so we do not want to sell tickets to more passengers than we can accommodate. ​

Whilst Anytime and Off-peak fares will still show for strike days, we would encourage customers to wait until the day of travel or until the timetable is confirmed before buying a ticket. Once we know which trains are running, some Advance fares will be back on sale.​

Passengers who have already purchased Advance tickets on strike days may be entitled to a fee-free change of journey by contacting the original retailer of their ticket up until 18:00 the day before they travel.

Anytime and Off-Peak tickets

During periods of industrial action, the rail industry introduces a temporary timetable. Customers are encouraged to only buy Anytime and Off-Peak tickets once they know their train is running as the cost of the ticket would not change but admin fees for refunds may apply. 

Please check with the retailer you purchased your ticket from for more information. ​

The normal terms and conditions of your ticket will apply, but in some cases a train company may relax the restriction at their discretion. 

We will make information available when a service has been declassified. 

While we cannot refund taxi or hotel bills, if you decide to travel during a strike period and your chosen train is affected, you may be able to use your ticket on another train company or by an alternative route. Where disruption prevents you from completing the journey for which your Ticket is valid and is being used, any train company will, where it reasonably can, provide you with alternative means of travel to your destination, or if necessary, provide overnight accommodation for you.

If you choose not to travel because your service has been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled you will be entitled to a refund.

If you choose to travel and are delayed on your journey, you will be able to claim compensation if the delay meets the Delay Repay threshold.​​​​​​​

Station car parks are, in a majority of cases, managed on behalf of train companies by a third party operator, so it may not be possible to temporarily transfer a car park season ticket to another location. Please contact the train company that manages the station your car park season ticket is valid at, or the third party car park operator, for details of any easements. You can find details of car park operators by searching for your station on our Find a Station page.

Previous industrial action dates

If you were affected by earlier industrial action, you can find the relevant dates and train companies below.

Industrial action dates

Archive information

December 2023

On Thursday 16 November, strike action was announced by the ASLEF Union for the following train operators on the following days:

Saturday 2 December, affecting:

  • East Midlands Railway

  • LNER

Sunday 3 December, affecting:

  • Avanti West Coast

  • Chiltern Railways

  • Great Northern

  • London Northwestern Railway

  • Thameslink

  • West Midlands Railway

Tuesday 5 December, affecting:

  • c2c

  • Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express)

Wednesday 6 December, affecting:

  • Gatwick Express

  • South Western Railway (including Island Line)

  • Southeastern

  • Southern

Thursday 7 December, affecting:

  • CrossCountry

  • Great Western Railway

  • Heathrow Express

Friday 8 December, affecting:

  • Northern

  • TransPennine Express

In addition, all the above train operators had an overtime ban between Friday 1 and Saturday 9 December.

View or download a calendar of the industrial action that took place in December.

October 2023

Industrial action took place on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 4 October (ASLEF Union)

This affected the following train operating companies:

September 2023

Industrial action took place on the following dates:

  • Friday 1 September (ASLEF Union)

  • Saturday 2 September (RMT Union)

  • Saturday 30 September 2023 (ASLEF Union)

This affected the following train operating companies:

August 2023

The ASLEF union took action short of a strike which affected some train operators from Monday 31 July to Saturday 5 August and Monday 7 to Saturday 12 August which involved ASLEF members withdrawing from working overtime during this time.

Industrial action took place on the following date:

  • Saturday 26 August (RMT Union)

This affected the following train operating companies:

July 2023

Industrial action affected National Rail services on various dates in July.

RMT Union took three days of strike action which affected the following train
operating companies on Thursday 20 July, Saturday 22 July and Saturday 29 July:

In addition, the ASLEF union, took action short of a strike which affected some train operators from Monday 17 July to Saturday 22 July which involved ASLEF members withdrawing from working overtime during this time.

May and June 2023

Industrial action took place on the following days:

  • Friday 12 May (action by ASLEF union)

  • Saturday 13 May (action by RMT union)

  • Wednesday 31 May (action by ASLEF union)

  • Friday 2 June (action by RMT union)

  • Saturday 3 June (action by ASLEF union)

Additionally, an overtime ban for ASLEF members was implemented on:

  • Saturday 13 May

  • Monday 15 to Saturday 20 May inclusive

  • Thursday 1 June

For these train companies it resulted in little or no services across large areas of the network. In many cases, services were also disrupted and started later on the day immediately following a strike day. If you were affected by this industrial action then please see the ticket and refund information in the FAQs above.

March and April 2023

  • Thursday 30 March and Saturday 1 April 2023

The strike action announced by the RMT union was suspended.

The train companies that would have been affected are:

February 2023

National strike action took place on:

  • Wednesday 1 February 2023 (action by both the ASLEF and RMT unions)

  • Friday 3 February 2023 (action by both the ASLEF and RMT unions)

Train companies that ran no services on Wednesday 1 and Friday 3 February strike days were:

  • Avanti West Coast

  • Chiltern Railways

  • CrossCountry

  • East Midlands Railway

  • Gatwick Express

  • Great Northern

  • Heathrow Express

  • London Northwestern Railway

  • Northern

  • South Western Railway Island Line services

  • Southeastern

  • Southern

  • Thameslink

  • TransPennine Express

  • West Midlands Railway

Train companies that ran an amended service on Wednesday 1 and Friday 3 February strike days were:

  • Great Western Railway

  • Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express)

  • LNER

January 2023

National strike action took place on:

  • Tuesday 3 January and Wednesday 4 January 2023 (action by the RMT union)

  • Thursday 5 January 2023 (action by the ASLEF union)

  • Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January 2023 (action by the RMT union)

Passenger assistance during industrial action

If you need assistance when travelling on National Rail services during strike days, staff will continue to provide help so that you can get to where you need to get to safely. Please be aware that normal staffing levels may vary across the network on the days affected by strikes.

We will do everything we can to help passengers on their journeys. If your chosen train is running, then assistance will be provided.

If your journey is affected by the strike action and you have Passenger Assistance booked, your train operator or train operators will contact you to discuss how you might want to change or re-arrange your journey.  If you decide not to travel, please contact your train company using the information on the Passenger Assist page.

Turn up and go assistance will still be provided for services running – please check your journey for information before travelling.

You will be able to book assistance on services planned on the strike days where the timetable has been confirmed. Please contact the train company you are travelling with for more information.