The train to nowhere – UK National Rail Strike Day 3

With zero movement on either side of the conflict, we came to Day 3 of the National Railway Strike.

Which might be open if we’re lucky – Image, Network Rail –

If we’re lucky, 20% of trains will run on limited parts of the UK’s national rail network, with most main lines having some sort of service, while branch lines and regional services will see no service today today.

On open lines, expect very limited service during limited opening hours between 07:30 and 18:30.

A high resolution PDF map can be found here.

Which train companies are impacted?

The full list (with strike ratings from each site) is below.

Some companies do not experience strikes, however, are affected by the Network Rail strike (such as Transport for Wales and Govia Thameslink Railway), while some companies have ceased service during strike periods (such as Merseyrail).

To note, london underground is not affected by this strike.

For completeness, here are the confirmed plans from each train operating company:

When will the trains run?

Limited operations on these days will be from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during strike days. Expect the simplest of stripped down services, with capacity, with hourly or half hourly services, with late departure times and very early arrivals.

Even during these opening hours, expect services to start very late and end early so trips can be made before 6.30pm.

Are airport services impacted?

Yes. If you arrive outside designated service hours, you will need to find an alternate route between your airport and your final destination. The reverse applies if you are going to the airport.

Serving the London area:

  • Heathrow Express expects services to end early on the days leading up to strike days and offer service every half hour between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
  • Elizabeth Line is expected to be heavily impacted.
  • Gatwick Express will not operate any services. Use Southern or Thameslink services instead, with two trains per hour running over the London Victora/London Bridge to Brighton Line.
  • Stansted Express will operate two trains per hour between London Liverpool Street and Stansted.

The DLR to London City Airport is unaffected, however, it is expected to be much busier than normal.

Can I get a refund?

According to National Rail:

  • Refunds: If your service has been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled, you will be entitled to a change or refund from the original retailer of your ticket.
  • Changes to travel plans: If you have a ticket to travel on June 21, 23 or 25, you can use this ticket either the day before the date indicated on the ticket or until Monday and Tuesday inclusive of the following week ( excluding subscriptions). Please contact the original reseller of your ticket for more information.
  • Change train company or route: To minimize disruption, you may be able to use your ticket on another train company or route. Please contact the train company you need to travel with for more information


What are the alternatives – if any?

At this point in the game it may be possible to take a Megabus, Flixbus or National Express service, but expect them to be crowded.

Local transport options such as buses and trams will feel the impact of the strikes, and they are expected to be much busier than normal.

For those looking to use taxis, rideshares, or even rent a car, expect surge rates to be your worst enemy.

As for hotels and such, expect pressure on them this week as well.

Plan well ahead or consider ditching your trip

I rarely suggest abandoning a trip, but this week’s rail strike is going to have a big impact on how you get from A to B this week.

If you don’t need to travel, or if you can fire up that copy of Microsoft Teams/Zoom you downloaded at the start of the pandemic and work remotely, I would.

If you must travel, keep an eye on first and plan your trip down to the minute.

Failure to do so could mean unexpected stops where you least want them.

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