Train strike on bank holiday Monday: Virgin cancels all West Coast services as last minute rail talks continue

Should action go ahead will be largest strike affecting UK rail network in 20 years

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The Independent Online

Virgin trains have cancelled all services on the West Coast over the Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday due to a planned strike by Network Rail workers.

If the action goes ahead the company will also run a limited service along its popular East Coast line – disrupting thousands of passengers in the largest strike action on the UK's rail service in twenty years.

Network Rail has warned that passengers should not expect the 24-hour strike to be called off as talks aimed at resolving a pay row continued in the run-up to the weekend.

Yesterday officials continued to hold talks with union bosses at the conciliation service Acas in an attempt to head off the strike involving thousands of signallers, maintenance staff and station workers scheduled to start at 5pm on Monday.

Passengers are being warned not to travel unless “absolutely necessary”.

Other services that face possible cancellations including CrossCountry Trains, Chiltern Railways, Arriva Trains Wales, First Great Western and ScotRail. Passengers are advised to check with individual operators if their service will be running.

Virgin, which runs services on the busy north to south routes connecting the country, have warned customers to check their route before travelling and said some tickets may be used on other days.  The company have also warned that even if the strike is called off only "some services" will be reinstated.

Union chiefs have warned that the biggest impact may be felt on Tuesday, catching thousands of commuters following the Bank Holiday.

 

“We are continuing to talk with the unions and we believe there is a settlement to be had. I sincerely hope we can reach one and my team will be available all week, and into the weekend if necessary, to find a deal to prevent strike action,” Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said.

Passengers can look at travelling by either Megabus or National Express, although roads such as the AA may be far busier than usual as a knock-on from the strike. Passengers can check updates on the road here.

It also remains unclear which routes will be worst affected - although transport chiefs have warned all rail lines face disruption. The rail company is working with train operators on contingency plans which it is hoped will be outlined today, with more detailed timetables available from Saturday, but travellers are advised to travel by other routes.

Meanwhile, Transport for London have also warned that some underground services will be affected by the strike, with parts of the Bakerloo, District and Overground lines not running.

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