Train strike dates January 2023: When Liverpool trains will be impacted including Avanti, Northern, Merseyrail

Passengers are being advised to only travel if absolutely necessary as five days of rail strikes begin today.

Five straight days of strike action will impact all Liverpool train services this January. Rail passengers are being warned of severely disrupted train services in the first week of 2023 as two rail unions walk out.

Network Rail staff in the RMT and ASLEF unions will strike between January 3 and January 7 and National Rail are advising that passengers should only travel if absolutely necessary.

National Rail serve major stations across Merseyside, including Liverpool Lime Street, Liverpool South Parkway and Southport. The industrial action will also have knock-on effect on Merseyrail.

The rail strikes coincide with people returning to work and school after the new year, with only 20 percent of trains expected to run nationwide.

Kyla Thomas, Liverpool Lime Street station manager, said: “Of course this is not the start to the year we want for rail passengers who have suffered all Christmas because of unnecessary strike action.

“But with five straight days of strikes I’d urge passengers to once again only travel if absolutely necessary with very limited trains running over reduced hours next week. Please check National Rail Enquiries and consider travelling on another day – any pre-booked tickets will be valid up to and including January 10.

“We know how frustrating this period will be for passengers as strike action has such a huge impact on running a decent service. Our station staff will be doing their very best to get people to where they want to go and we’d ask for patience and forbearance as we have seen an alarming rise in verbal abuse directed at staff during these difficult periods.”

RMT strike

Two 48-hour walkouts by Network Rail staff in the RMT union on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4, and Friday 6 and Saturday 7, will see just two trains per hour serving Liverpool Lime Street over reduced operating hours - compared to an average of 13 trains leaving every hour on a normal weekday.

Liverpool Lime Street empty platforms during June 2022 strikes. Image: Network Rail

Lime Street station will close entirely by 19:00 and trains will start later from 07:30 with last long distance departures between 15:00 and 17:00.

Merseyrail

Although Merseyrail is not taking part in the RMT strike action, only a limited service will be able to run on January 3, 4, 5 and 7 due to Network Rail signallers and maintenance workers striking.

A 45-minute service, calling at all stations on selected Merseyrail lines, will run between 07:30 and 18:30 and rail replacement buses will not be operating. Those needing to travel outside the hours of service are advised to make alternative travel arrangements.

A Merseyrail train going through a station. Image: Merseyrail

A summary of services is as follows:

Chester and Ellesmere Port lines: No trains will operate between Chester and Rock Ferry or Ellesmere Port and Rock Ferry. Trains will run every 45 minutes between Rock Ferry and Liverpool Central, calling at all stations.

New Brighton line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.

West Kirby line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.

Southport line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.

Hunts Cross line: No trains will operate between Liverpool Central and Hunts Cross.

Ormskirk line: On Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 January, trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations. However, on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January, two trains will run per 45 minutes, calling at all stations to support the increased number of passengers expected to travel on the line as a result of the Kirkby line being closed for engineering work.

Kirkby line: On Tuesday 3 January and Wednesday 4 January trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations. On Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January no service will run on the Kirkby line due to planned engineering work as part of the construction of the new Headbolt Lane station. Rail replacement buses will run every 30 minutes between 0700 and 1830 to Moorfields station. Timetables will be available on the Merseyrail website a few days in advance.

More information on how Merseyrail services will be affected can be found on their website.

ASLEF strike

On Thursday January 5, train drivers in the ASLEF union will strike at 15 rail companies across the country, heavily impacting rail services across Liverpool and the North West.

These companies will not be running any train services in and out of Liverpool Lime Street:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Northern
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Railway
  • London Northwestern Railway
  • East Midlands Railway

TransPennine Express/Northern

These train operators have overlapping networks.

A basic Liverpool-Manchester Piccadilly-Manchester airport service will operate on the west side of the Pennines. On the east side, links from Leeds will run to Selby, York, Ilkley, Skipton, Bradford, Doncaster and Sheffield.

TransPennine Express will have a service on three lines on: Sheffield-Cleethorpes, Manchester Piccadilly-Huddersfield-Leeds-York and Preston-Manchester Airport. The pattern on January 6-7 is the same except the Manchester-Huddersfield link will not run.

Avanti West Coast

“We plan to run one train per hour from Euston to each of Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Preston,” the operator said.

“North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh have no Avanti West Coast services, and trains will not be calling at Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke-on-Trent or Runcorn, so these stations will be closed.”

Some trains will extend north of Preston to Lancaster and Carlisle, but flooding has closed the line into Scotland. The first trains will run from around 8am or 9am, and the last trains will depart London Euston for Manchester at 3.40pm, for Liverpool at 3.56pm and for Birmingham at 4.23pm.