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When are the rail strikes over Christmas and what trains are set to be cancelled in December and January?





Rail strikes are threatening to disrupt people's festive plans and Christmas travel arrangements after the RMT confirmed it intends to press ahead with a large wave of industrial action between now and January.

Thousands of train services up and down the country are set to be cancelled by 12 days of action which have now been announced by the union.

Train services across the UK face massive disruption between now and January
Train services across the UK face massive disruption between now and January

While RMT officials will put a new offer from Network Rail to members in the shape of an electronic referendum, which will close on Monday, the RMT suggest workers reject the latest pay deal and change to conditions and press ahead with planned action.

December strikes

All strike action earmarked for December is now expected to go ahead - with disruption expected next week even if members were to accept the current pay offer on the table, which officials say is unlikely.

About 40,000 rail workers across Network Rail and 14 train companies are expected to walk out in the coming weeks as they continue their dispute with bosses.

Passengers travelling over Christmas are being advised to closely follow live journey updates. Image: Stock photo.
Passengers travelling over Christmas are being advised to closely follow live journey updates. Image: Stock photo.

Strikes this month are planned to take place on Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14 and again on Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17.

The two periods of 48 hour strikes are also expected to cause major upheaval to train services scheduled to run on Thursday, December 15 - as services are expected to start later than normal as a result of strike action the previous night and will wind down earlier in the evening ahead of more action expected the following day.

Union members are not expected to sign-up for engineering work scheduled to start after Christmas Eve
Union members are not expected to sign-up for engineering work scheduled to start after Christmas Eve

Passengers intending to use the railways to make their Christmas Eve getaway are also now being warned to plan ahead after the RMT announced further plans to strike from 6pm on December 24. This action will last until 5.59am on Tuesday, December 27.

While few passenger services run across the Christmas bank holiday, it does mean services on December 24 will end earlier than is normally expected and the union is also instructing its members not to book on for planned engineering work with Network Rail that was scheduled to happen between these dates.

Mick Lynch (61134431)
Mick Lynch (61134431)

While the December strikes are expected to force many households to abandon or alter their Christmas travel plans, the walkouts could also cost businesses, and in particular the hospitality industry, a lot of money by limiting people's travel and shopping options this month - particularly in the capital which welcomes hundreds of thousands of extra visitors during the build up to the festive season.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch described the union's latest strike plans as 'unfortunate'.

He said: "We remain available for talks in order to resolve these issues but we will not bow to pressure from the employers and the government to the detriment of our members."

For those passengers who have already booked train tickets, or wish to seek a refund because their plans have been disrupted by the scheduled industrial action, more details about claiming your money back or changing your travel dates can be found by visiting your train operator's website.

Four December strike dates are expected to disrupt people's festive plans. Image: iStock.
Four December strike dates are expected to disrupt people's festive plans. Image: iStock.

January strikes

Should disputes over pay and working conditions remain unresolved the RMT has also given notice of plans to launch January strike action during the first week of the new year.

Walkouts are expected on Tuesday, January 3 and Wednesday, January 4, 2023 followed by more walk outs on Friday, January 6 and Saturday, January 7.

Yet again, it is likely to mean the Thursday between the two 48-hour strike blocks and the days either side will also see some disruption to services as trains wind down earlier and there is some delay getting them up and running the next morning to allow for vital safety checks to be carried out.