First Great Western train strike: More commuter misery with just half of high speed FGW trains operating

Roughly 2,000 workers are on strike over changes to the high speed service

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The Independent Online

Commuters look set to face more travel misery today as First Great Western train services endure their second day of strikes.

RMT members walked out yesterday over safety and job loss concerns with the introduction of a new Hitachi Intern City Express trains. The strike came at the same time as that of London Underground workers, creating a perfect maelstrom of travel chaos for millions of commuters.

Today, FGW spokesperson James Davies claimed that “over 90 per cent of trains” in the London Thames Valley area were running normally - but conceded that elsewhere service was considerably affected.

The high speed Inter-City fleet, running services from Bristol to London and South Wales, is operating only 50 per cent of the usual trains. FGW had warned that trains will be very busy and that travellers should expect disruption.

“It would seem customers have heeded advices we put up earlier and the services we are operating are not full and there is capacity available,” Mr Davies told The Independent.

Approximately 2,000 union workers are on strike across the network, according to RMT. The 48-hour strike, which started at 6.30pm on Wednesday, is due to end tomorrow.

Yesterday, FGW claimed that 60 per cent of its services were running normally – a claim rubbished by an RMT spokesperson who dismissed the figure as “pure fiction”.

Meanwhile, many local services remain suspended. You can see a full list of affected services here.

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