The week which will see 80% of the UK’s railway services grind to a halt due to strike action has arrived - as will the countrywide disruption which will follow.
This comes after over 40,000 members of the RMT union agreed to stand up against various issues such as pay, health and safety procedures, as well as job security.
A number of routes in and around the Liverpool and Merseyside region are set to be affected and will bring disruption to the lives of thousands.
In response to the three dates of announced strike action, railway companies are in the process of releasing official reduced timetables.
Here is everything you need to know.
When are the RMT strikes?
By law, trade unions must give an employer a minimum of 14-days notice of any industrial action.
After meeting with trade unionists to discuss official dates, three days in June will see railway strike action.
The Railway Network strike will fall on 21, 23 and 25 June, bringing a halt to railway services for a week - covering what are statistically the busiest days post-pandemic.
A number of events and festivals are taking place during the week commencing Monday, 20 June - such as the hugely-popular Glastonbury Festival.
What railway operating companies are affected in Liverpool?
Out of the 15 different railway operating companies that have railway workers participating in the three days of RMT strike action, three of them operate popular routes to and from Liverpool and nearby North West towns and cities.
The affected railway operators include:
- AvantiWestcoast (AWC)
- Northern Trains
- TransPennine Express (TPE)
- Merseyrail (for reasons explained later)
What are the strike timetables for routes in and around Liverpool?
The affected railway operating companies that operate to and from Liverpool have released details surrounding their dramatically reduced service timetable.
Avanti West Coast (AWC)
Heading into the week hit by RMT strike action, officials at Avanti West Coast (AWC) are expecting to only run 25% of its typical timetable on 21 and 23 June.
On the last day of the RMT strike - which is Saturday, 25 June - the railway company will only operate a third of its usual schedule.
A majority of open lines during the hectic strike schedule will run from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm only.
One of the most badly affected lines is the one connecting Liverpool to Euston, with only one train operating it during the affected dates - the first train will arrive just before 8 am and the last will deprat just past mid-afternoon.
Services are also limited for journeys to Glasgow too.
The drastically reduced timetable also means that routes leading to or coming from areas in North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh will have no Avanti West Course services on all three strike days.
Whilst trains will not be calling at Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke-on-Trent or Runcorn as the train stations are closed.
AWC is set to release its altered timetable for Saturday, 25 June on Wednesday, 22 June.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Due to strike action by the RMT union, we’ll be operating a significantly reduced timetable on Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 23 June and Saturday 25 June.”
“This means fewer trains will run and some stations and destinations will have no service on the strike days.
Our services will also start later and end much earlier. These trains are expected to be very busy, so we strongly advise to only travel by rail if necessary on strike days.
“If not, please plan ahead as your journey will probably be severely disrupted. Train travel on days either side of the strike days is also likely to be affected.”
For further information on the badly affected routes to and from the Liverpool region through AWC, and to view its timetables please visit the official website.
Like most train operating companies across the country, Northern Trains have released a dramatically reduced timetable for services across the week commencing Monday, 20 June 2022.
Officials at the company are pleading with customers to not travel on strike days unless it is necessary.
The train operator will only run one line which arrives in the city, which is between Alderley Edge and Liverpool Lime Street - the last train will make inroads into the city at 6:21 pm.
Other lines that Northern Trains are operating across the UK include: Darlington to Saltburn, York to Leeds, Ilkley to Bradford to Leeds, Skipton Bradford to Leeds, Leeds to Sheffield and Leeds to Bradford.
All other routes will not be operating on the three days of strike action.
There will be no replacement buses or travel provided.
A spokesperson stated: “On strike days there will be extremely limited availability of both train crew and signalling staff and as such we will not be able to operate services on most routes.
“Unfortunately, as we will not be able to position our fleet how we normally would, the significant impact of the strike will also be felt on non-strike days. Therefore, we regrettably advise customers not to travel on any day from Tuesday 21st through to Sunday 26th June.
“Where we are able to operate trains, services will be very limited, and trains will not start as early as normal and will finish much earlier than normal.
“You will be entitled to a refund for dates affected by strike action if not travelling.”
For further information on the badly affected routes to and from the Liverpool region through Northern Trains, and to view its timetables, please visit the official website.
As per the official schedule released by TransPennine Express, the railway operator is set to only operate 10% of its usual timetable for the days affected by Network Rail RMT strike action.
Routes to stations such as Yarm, Scarborough, Seamer, Malton, Selby, Brough and Hull will not be running as they are closed with no services for each of the three days.
In the event of any service cancellations for lines connecting Liverpool Lime Street with Sheffield, ticket arrangements are in place with East Midlands Railway to provide further support and alternative services for passengers.
A spokesperson for TPR has said: “Whilst we will try to run as many of our planned services as possible, we understand that this may cause you concern.”
“Your ticket will be valid for travel on the previous day or the next two days following any strike action. If you choose not to travel at all, you will be entitled to a full refund.
“In the event that these are required, we will seek to source and provide stand-by buses at certain locations.
“Provision of standby buses will be considered on each day of strike action and customers will be advised locally by station staff if replacement buses are in operation.
“If you’re planning to travel on a day affected by RMT strikes you should check for updates up to the last minute as services may be subject to short notice changes.
“You should also allow extra time for journeys as the services we are able to operate will be far busier than normal.”
For further information on the badly affected routes to and from the Liverpool region through TransPennine Express, and to view its timetables, please visit the official website.
In news that is set to cause widespread disruption to customers and passengers throughout the region, Merseyrail announced that it will close its entire network on the three days of strikes - which are also statistically the busiest days post-pandemic.
This is despite Merseyrail staff not taking part in the industrial action, it still involves Network Rail staff who operate important roles such as signalling systems which allow the services to run safely.
There will be no bus replacement services on either day.
In a statement, Merseyrail have said: “Unfortunately due to strike action by RMT members of Network Rail there will be no Merseyrail train services on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June.
There will also be knock on effects on the day after each industrial action date. On Wednesday 22 and Friday 24 June limited rail replacement buses will run until 07:00 and trains will be reintroduced from 07:00.
For further information, please visit the Merseyrail website.