How many trains will run during the South Western Railway strikes?

How many trains will run during the South Western Railway strikes?

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 5:48am 22nd November 2019.

4 minute read

More details have been revealed about how the timetables will be affected during December.

27 days of strike action have been called by members of the RMT union throughout next month. 

They're planned to take place from December 2nd.

As we get closer to the walkouts, South Western Railway (SWR) has put out some information to passengers about the ways that will affect travel.

They've said there are a few key points: 

  • More than half of normal Monday to Friday services are expected to run, but there will the same level of peak services as in previous strikes
  • Peak services will be much busier than normal though, queuing may be introduced at busier stations
  • Services will finish earlier than normal at around 11.00pm
  • Off-peak frequencies will be reduced
  • Buses will replace trains on some routes, with ticket acceptance with other operators on others
South Western Railway December 2019 Strike Map
The orange routes will have a reduced service during the strike days - with the red routes not having any services by SWR

A fully detailed timetable is expected to be released next week.

The map shows services from Salisbury towards London or Yeovil Junction will be less frequent.

It also suggests SWR won't be running ANY services from Salisbury towards Southampton Central - but other operators will be running on that route.

Salisbury Railway Train Station
Services through Salisbury station will be affected for 7 days throughout December - as well as having no services at all on Christmas Day and Boxing Day


The RMT union balloted their members for industrial action in a row over the role of guards on trains.

They're against a proposed change to have driver only trains on the network.

SWR Managing Director Andy Mellors has responded to that: 

"We have promised there will be a guard on every train, and that the guard will still have a safety critical role. All we are asking is that our guards work with us to bring in our new trains which could mean over 10 million more passengers journeys arriving on time each year.

"This strike is the last thing any of us wanted. We will do everything possible to get you where you need to go but ask that you leave more time for your journey and check before you travel for the latest information."

South Western Railway Train 2018
South Western Railway services will face major disruption over the coming weeks


The first details of the timetable changes for the strike days follows a collapse of the talks between SWR and the RMT, through conciliation service ACAS, to try and avert the industrial action.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

"(We've) attended discussions under the auspices of ACAS for the past two days to discuss the issues in dispute. No proposals that would enable the development of a resolution to the dispute have been put forward by SWR.

"Throughout these talks, SWR have not shown any intention of moving the issues at the heart of the dispute forwards despite verbal assurances in earlier discussions. It has become increasingly clear that they are not interested in reaching a settlement at this time.

"As a result of the company attitude all planned action remains on and the union is committed to ensuring the safest possible method of operation. RMT will remain available for discussions with the company at any time."

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