Train strike times: Which trains are cancelled?

Arriving soon? Avanti West Coast train (Harry Adkins)
Arriving soon? Avanti West Coast train (Harry Adkins)

The next nationwide rail strike staged by members of the RMT union is taking place on Thursday 18 August.

The industrial action involves around 40,000 employees across Network Rail and 14 train operators, from cleaners and station staff to signallers and guards, plus around 2,500 members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA).

Disruption is expected to continue into Friday morning (compounded in London by a 24-hour Tube strike the same day).

But which lines are affected and will any trains be running?

Which train operators are affected by the strike?

  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • South Eastern
  • South Western Railway
  • TransPennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Trains
  • GTR (including Gatwick Express)
  • London Overground
  • Hull Trains
  • London Northwestern Railway

The UK rail network will not shut down completely, but most trains will be cancelled across England, Wales and Scotland. Around one fifth of train services are expected to run.

Chiltern Railways

Chiltern operates trains between London Marylebone and Oxford, Birmingham and Aylesbury, calling at tourist hotspots including shopping mecca Bicester Village. It has said that “a significantly reduced timetable will be in operation, with no service north of Banbury” on Thursday, while on Friday “services will start later and finish earlier than usual”.


CrossCountry, whose hub is in Birmingham New Street, runs a range services, going as far south as Penzance, north up to Aberdeen, west to Cardiff with trains also running to key destinations including Stansted airport, Manchester Piccadilly, Bournemouth, Glasgow and Nottingham.

On Thursday, the entire Cardiff Central to Nottingham line is closed.

No trains will run between: Bristol Temple Meads and Penzance; Edinburgh and Aberdeen and Glasgow Central; Stoke-on-Trent and Stockport; Leicester and Stansted Airport; and Southampton Central and Bournemouth.

On the parts of the routes that are open, a reduced timetable generally sees one train per hour. From Birmingham New St to Newcastle and Edinburgh Waverley there are only two trains running (at 11.03 and 13.03).

Greater Anglia

“Avoid travelling with us,” says Greater Anglia of 18 August. “Our services will be severely reduced and disrupted. It’s likely that most routes won’t have trains or bus replacements for them.”

It is also warning that some morning services won’t run the following day but should be back to normal in the early afternoon.

Only three routes will be operating on Thursday. Between Norwich and Colchester and London Liverpool Street, one train will run per hour. Cambridge-Liverpool Street also gets one service per hour, while between Southend and Liverpool Street there will be two trains an hour.


London North Eastern runs key routes from London to the north, to stations including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle and York.

It is operating a reduced timetable on 18 August, with one to two trains an hour. There are no trains running north of Leeds.

The last train from Edinburgh to King’s Cross goes at 12.30; vice versa the last train is a 14.00.

East Midlands Railway

EMR will be operating a significantly reduced service on Thursday and is asking customers to only travel by rail if necessary. “If you do decide to travel, plan ahead and leave extra time for disruption and short notice changes,” it advises.

EMR Connect services, services between Nottingham and Sheffield and services between Leicester and Nottingham will not be running and no rail replacement buses will be provided.

There will be one train per hour between: Nottingham and London; Sheffield and London; Derby and Matlock; Derby and Nottingham; and Leicester and Nottingham (Stopping Service). All other routes are closed.


The operator, which runs services between London and Essex, is advising against all but essential travel on Thursday.

A reduced service is running from 7.30-18.30, equating to less than a third of normal service levels, and consisting of:

  • Two trains per hour from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Laindon
  • Two trains per hour from Fenchurch Street to Pitsea via Rainham

No trains will run via Ockendon or Chafford Hundred.

Great Western Railway

A significantly limited service will operate; GWR passengers are being advised to “please make alternative travel arrangements and only travel if absolutely necessary.”

No rail services will operate on the following routes:

  • All lines in Cornwall, including all branch lines
  • West of Newton Abbot (change at Exeter) towards Plymouth/Cornwall (due to no contingency signallers)
  • All branch lines in Devon (Barnstaple, Exmouth, Paignton, Okehampton)
  • South Wales main line (Carmarthen/Swansea–Cardiff Central)
  • Berks & Hants line (Reading–Taunton via Castle Cary)
  • Wessex main line (Bath Spa–Portsmouth Harbour)
  • Heart of Wessex line (Westbury–Weymouth)
  • TransWilts line (Swindon–Westbury via Melksham)
  • Severn Beach line (Bristol Temple Meads–Severn Beach)
  • North Cotswolds line (Hereford/Worcester–Oxford)
  • South Cotswolds line (Cheltenham Spa–Swindon)
  • Worcester/Gloucester
  • Greenford branch line
  • North Downs line (Reading–Gatwick Airport)

Northern Trains

“We are advising Northern customers NOT TO TRAVEL,” the operator has said of 18 August.

A limited timetable is running between Manchester and Alderley Edge, Liverpool and Manchester, and Leeds and York, Ilkley, Sheffield, Skipton and Bradford. No other routes have a rail service.

South Eastern

Only 44 out of 180 stations will be open and passengers are advised to avoid travel where possible. No rail replacement buses will serve stations which are closed.

A limited service will run between London Bridge and Sevenoaks, and London Bridge and Dartford on the Woolwich, Sidcup and Bexleyheath lines. A reduced timetable will also run from London St Pancras to Ashford International.

South Western Railway

A severely limited service will run between 07.15 and 18.30 on some routes, with the rest of the network closed.

The only routes that will run, with a reduced timetable, are London Waterloo to the following: Southampton, Basingstoke, Woking and Windsor.

TransPennine Express

TPE will only be operating a small percentage of its usual timetable.

Customers are advised that services will start later and finish earlier than usual and everyone should check their entire journey before travel, including times of first and last trains.

Between Sheffield and Doncaster, Cleethorpes and Scunthorpe, and Manchester and Preston there will only be five trains running the entire day. Between Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed and Berwick-upon-Tweed Newcastle, only two trains will run. From York to Leeds and Leeds to Manchester, one train will run an hour until around 16.20.

Avanti West Coast

Avanti is advising against all non-essential travel.

One train per hour will run from Euston to each of Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Preston, with a limited service onwards to Glasgow.

These trains will operate during limited hours, with the first train of the day departing Euston just before 8am and the last train of the day from Euston departing mid-afternoon.

The significantly reduced timetable on 18 August will mean North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh have no Avanti West Coast services, and trains will not be calling at Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke-on-Trent or Runcorn, so these stations will be closed.

West Midlands Trains

West Midlands Railway services will be running to a limited timetable on a limited number of routes (similar to the recent timetable on 27 July). As a very limited service will be in place during this time, “you’re advised to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary”.

A limited timetable will be in operation on the following routes only:

  • Birmingham – Northampton – London Euston
  • Birmingham – Wolverhampton – Crewe
  • Lichfield – Birmingham – Bromsgrove / Redditch

London Northwestern Railway services will not be running on other routes.


Govia Thameslink Railway is the UK’s largest railway operator, managing Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express. Much of the network will be closed.


Two trains an hour will run between the following:

  • London Victoria and Brighton
  • London Bridge and Brighton
  • London Bridge and Gatwick Airport
  • London Bridge and Three Bridges
  • Brighton and Hove
  • London Victoria and Sutton
  • London Victoria and Epsom Downs via Selhurst
  • London Victoria and West Croydon via Crystal Palace
  • London Bridge and Tattenham Corner

Thameslink and Great Northern

Two trains an hour will run between the following:

  • St Pancras International and Bedford
  • St Pancras International and Luton
  • King’s Cross and Peterborough
  • King’s Cross and Welwyn Garden City
  • King’s Cross and Stevenage via Hertford North

One train an hour will run between:

  • King’s Cross and Ely
  • Cambridge and Ely
  • King’s Cross and Cambridge

Gatwick Express

Gatwick Express services will not run.

London Overground

The London Overground will operate a reduced service between 08.00 and 18.00. No services will run before 08.00 or after 18.00.

Hull Trains

A reduced service will run between Doncaster and London King’s Cross.

London Northwestern Railway

A limited timetable will be in operation on the following routes only:

  • Birmingham – Northampton – London Euston
  • Birmingham – Wolverhampton – Crewe

London Northwestern Railway services will not be running on other routes.

Published by anthonyhayble


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