Disruption to last 10 days during national ASLEF industrial action

Customers must check every journey, every day as services will run to different timetables each day

Regrettably, services on Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink will be disrupted for 10 consecutive days in early December during nationwide industrial action by the train drivers’ union ASLEF.

Customers must check every journey, every day before setting off using nationalrail.co.uk, as services will run to different timetables each day. Trains may start later and finish earlier and on some days a small number of stations will have no service at all.

Services will be much busier than usual, especially in the peak hours. There will be some disruption and long queues. Passengers may not be able to board their chosen service and should allow extra time for their journeys.

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director, said: “We’re really sorry for the disruption customers will experience as we make significant timetable changes during this period of sustained national industrial action.

“I strongly urge customers to check every journey, every day, so they aren't caught out.

“No two consecutive days will be the same, so please plan all your journeys carefully, including any connections with other operators, in advance at nationalrail.co.uk, and once again before you set off.

“Industrial action is terrible for everyone, and we hope for a national resolution as soon as possible.”

Services day-by-day (more details on train company websites)

  • We have been advised of a nationwide ban on overtime by ASLEF throughout this period. From Friday 1 to Saturday 9 December included (with the exception of Sunday 3 December) we will run an amended timetable with fewer services across the entire network. This will help customers plan and offer more certainty with fewer short notice on-the-day alterations. With the exception of Sunday 3 December, Gatwick Express will not operate throughout the period of industrial action. Gatwick Airport customers will still be served by Southern and Thameslink trains.

In addition:

  • On Saturday 2 December (network wide) trains will start later and finish earlier. Southern stations west of Barnham near the south coast will have no service.
  • On Sunday 3 December no Great Northern or Thameslink trains will run due to strike action. Southern will run its regular timetable (with planned engineering works), with a possibility of on-the-day cancellations.
  • On Monday 4 December Thameslink and Great Northern trains will restart between 0700 and 0900 due to the knock-on effect of strike action the day before.
  • On Wednesday 6 December no Southern trains will run due to strike action, except for a limited shuttle service for airport customers, calling at London Victoria and Gatwick Airport only, between 7am and 11pm.
  • On Wednesday 6 December, the strike at Southeastern means that, for operational reasons, our Thameslink trains between Sevenoaks and Blackfriars will not be able to run via Bat and Ball, Otford, Eynsford, Shoreham, Swanley and St Mary Cray.
  • On Thursday 7 December Southern trains will restart between 0700 and 0900 due to the knock-on effect of strike action the day before.
  • On Saturday 9 December (network wide) trains will start later and finish earlier, and stations west of Barnham near the south coast will have no service.
  • On Sunday, 10 December, a new winter timetable begins.

Online journey planners such as nationalrail.co.uk have been updated with the first three days of service, from 1-3 December and the remaining days’ travel will follow shortly.

Neighbouring train operators are also affected by the overtime ban and strikes on different days which may make our stations and trains even busier. If a journey involves using another train company, passengers must check with them for any changes to their services and ensure their onward connections are available on the day they are travelling.

Sporting events will also be affected. Football fans should check online journey planners. They may need to find other ways to reach the games as there will be either no trains at all or none for the return trip.

Unfortunately, rail replacement bus services cannot be provided on strike days due to the scale of the action. This includes those previously put in place for engineering work.


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