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South Western Railway confirms service levels during December industrial action

South Western Railway-Waterloo_station
Waterloo station

Strike action on Wednesday 6 December means an extremely limited service will operate on a small number of lines, with the majority of the network closed – customers are urged to only travel if absolutely necessary

South Western Railway (SWR) has confirmed its services on days of national industrial and strike action in December. The ASLEF union, which represents train drivers, will take industrial action from Friday 1 to Saturday 9 December, with SWR drivers taking strike action on Wednesday 6 December.

On Wednesday 6 December, there will be an extremely limited service, with trains only running between London Waterloo and Basingstoke, Feltham, Woking, Guildford and between Basingstoke and Salisbury.

Trains will only operate on these routes between the hours of 0700 and 1900. There will be no other services, on any lines, outside of these times.

There will be no service on the Island Line and customers in areas such as Bournemouth, Exeter, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton, Staines, Windsor and Yeovil will not be served by SWR trains on Wednesday 6 December.

SWR customers are urged to only travel if absolutely necessary on Wednesday 6 December and to check their entire journey carefully if they must travel. Unlike previous rounds of ASLEF industrial action, the union will be striking on different days for different train operators across the industrial action period.

Drivers at Southeastern, Gatwick Express and Southern will also take strike action on Wednesday 6 December, with others taking strike action on other days, which may impact connections with other operators’ services.

Throughout the nine-day period, ASLEF has also instructed its members not to work any overtime, which will affect SWR from Friday 1 to Tuesday 5 and from Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 December.

While SWR will be running a normal timetable on most of its network from Friday 1 to Tuesday 5 and on Thursday 7 December, there will be some cancellations. Customers are advised to check their full journey before travelling during these dates due to strike action occurring for other operators.

Customers can check now journey planners for Friday 1 to Thursday 7 December. For Monday 4, Tuesday 5, and Thursday 7 December, services for the West of England are due to be up to date later in the week, with all other services accurate now.

Service levels for Friday 8 and Saturday 9 December are being finalised and will be confirmed in due course, with journey planners for those days to be updated as soon as possible next week.

Stuart Meek, Chief Operating Officer for South Western Railway, said “We’re sorry that national industrial action will again impact SWR services for the first nine days of December. ASLEF will take strike action on Wednesday 6 December, meaning we will run an extremely limited service, and we must urge our customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on that day. During other days of industrial action, customers should check their entire journeys before setting off, as there will be some cancellations and drivers at other operators may be on strike. We know that this is a busy time of year as we approach Christmas, so we would like to thank customers for their continued patience and understanding.”

On Sunday 3 December, West of England services between London Waterloo and Exeter St David’s are expected to be extremely busy due to the ASLEF union overtime ban and engineering work between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction.

Services between London Waterloo and Exeter St David’s are being diverted via Westbury, with buses replacing trains between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction, until Sunday 10 December.

Customers seeking alternative travel options should note that Great Western Railway will be running a significantly limited service and will not be running services to Exeter St David’s on this date.

Customers are also reminded that from Sunday 10 December, SWR will begin operating a new timetable.

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