Passengers on trains to and from Liverpool have been advised to only travel if absolutely necessary during next week’s strikes.
Network Rail said about half of all rail lines will be closed when thousands of workers walk out across Britain on June 21, 23, and 25. Services that do run will start and finish much earlier than usual, from 7.30am to 6.30pm, with train operators expecting to run very limited timetables.
The operators have told passengers to not travel on the strike days unless absolutely necessary. Customers should try to find alternative transport to and from the city if their journey is essential.
Merseyrail confirmed earlier today it would not be running any services on the three days of industrial action. While Merseyrail staff are not taking part in the strike action it will involve Network Rail staff who operate the signalling systems and provide crucial maintenance to allow services to run safely.
Merseyrail said no rail replacement buses will be available on strike days and passengers are advised to make alternative arrangements.
And now three train operators into the city – Northern Trains, TransPenine Express and Avanti West Coast – have all said they will be running hugely reduced services on the strike days which will also have a knock-on effect on the days in-between.
Northern Trains asked customers not to travel at all on services between June 21 and 26. The train operator is going to run a limited service between Alderley Edge and Lime Street with the last train arriving in the city at 6.21pm.
Avanti West Coast expects to run 25% of its typical timetable on June 21 and 23 and a third of its typical Saturday timetable on June 25. It expects to run one train per hour from Euston to Liverpool and customers are advised to only travel if necessary and to expect severe disruption.
TransPenine Express also urged travellers to only make essential journeys with only 10% of their usual timetable running on the affected days.
More than 40,000 RMT union members from Network Rail and 13 train firms plan to walk out next week. The action will include staff such as guards and signalling operators.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said railway workers have been “treated appallingly” and face either losing jobs or accepting another pay freeze during a cost of living crisis. Network Rail said it is “doing everything we can” to avoid the strike action.
Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Talks have not progressed as far as I had hoped and so we must prepare for a needless national rail strike and the damaging impact it will have. We, and our train operating colleagues, are gearing up to run the best service we can for passengers and freight users next week despite the actions of the RMT.”