Train strikes: Merseyrail will stop all services for three days this week as train network shuts down

The entire Merseyrail network will close down for three days with no replacement buses services as rail strikes take place across the UK.

Railway workers across the North West are taking part in a huge national strike action this week, in the biggest walk-outs the country has seen in decades.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) voted in favour of strike action across Network Rail and 13 train operating companies.

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Last minute talks failed to prevent the strikes, which will take place on June 21, 23, 25 and will be the largest industrial action on the railways since 1989.

Merseyrail staff are not directly involved, but the signal operators on the network are employed by Network Rail and will be taking part in the strike action.

Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail said: “Our network is unable to function without the support of Network Rail signalling and maintenance staff who play a critical role in the safe operation of our train services.”

A Merseyrail train in the station. Image: Shutterstock

As a result, there will be a total shutdown of Merseyrail train services on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 of June.

There will be no train services and no rail replacement buses on these strike days.

Merseyrail have warned that 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 7:00am and trains will be reintroduced from 07:00.

The mass walk outs are also set to bring a halt to 80% of the train lines across the country, which will cause huge disruption to other popular routes in and around Liverpool City Region.

What national operators 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)

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.

Northern Trains

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.

TransPennine Express

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.