Train strikes: Glastonbury revellers arrive at festival two days early to dodge rail chaos

Hundreds of fans opted to arrive on Monday for the world-famous festival, which begins on Wednesday

<p>Music fans leaving Paddington Station in London, as they travel down to the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset</p>

Music fans leaving Paddington Station in London, as they travel down to the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset

Hundreds of Glastonbury festivalgoers have arrived at the site’s Somerset location two days early, in a bid to dodge the rail chaos caused by this week’s three-day train strike.

The nationwide walk-out of some 40,000 rail workers - including signallers, track maintenance workers and guards - has wiped out large chunks of the UK’s rail network, with around 80 per cent of trains not running during strike days.

A trickle of early-bird revellers were photographed arriving at Castle Cary station in Somerset - the entry point for rail travellers to the event - on Monday, despite the opening day of the festival being Wednesday.

Rail services ran as normal on Monday, but Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are a different picture, with around half of trains to the area expected to be cancelled due to the strikes.

GWR, which runs trains out of London into Somerset, and from the Cornwall and Devon coast up towards the festival site, is planning to run only five services out towards Castle Cary on Thursday.

Only 24 services are expected to run to the event from London between Wednesday and Friday.

Major congestion is also expected on the roads across the southwest of England during the latter half of the week, as many festivalgoers attempt to get around the rail disruption by travelling by car or bus.

Although there are only three official strike days this week - 21, 23 and 25 June - Network Rail has warned passengers to expect disruption on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday due to knock-on effects from the industrial action.

Many festivalgoers have waited two years to attend Glastonbury, after the event was postponed due to Covid in 2020 and cancelled for the same reason in 2021. Tickets rolled over to the following year for most of those who booked.

London-based Glastonbury fans hoping to leave early for the festival will also be affected by today’s tube strike, with commuters being warned to avoid travel on the TfL network.

It is thought some travellers to Castle Cary also arrived early for today’s summer solstice, for which there are events planned at Glastonbury Tor.

A GWR spokesperson said: “We plan to maintain timetabled trains between Castle Cary and London Paddington throughout the course of the Glastonbury Festival.

“Some services might be subject to alterations to train times and we will be in contact with customers who have already booked seats on board those trains.

“Other parts of the GWR network are likely to be more affected by the strike action and customers may need to consider alternative ways to travel to a station serving Castle Cary.”

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