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Fury as no trains from more than 40 stations in and outside London despite no strikes

Fury as no trains from more than 40 stations in and outside London despite no strikes

Network Rail is warning that passengers should only travel ‘if absolutely necessary’ on Christmas Eve given planned strike action

Rail chiefs and unions faced fury on Monday for running no trains from more than 40 stations in London and the wider South despite there being no strike action.

One London MP said she was “appalled” at the failure to put any trains on from parts of the capital.

Other services which normally run at least every 15 minutes were reduced to hourly services.
A map published by South Western Railway showed “no services” at more than 40 stations including Earlsfield, Chertsey, Mortlake, Queenstown Road, Hampton Court, Whitton, St Margarets, Strawberry Hill, Frimley, Tolworth, Claygate, Bagshot and Camberley.

Twickenham MP Munira Wilson said: “This is a kick in the teeth for commuters and our struggling hospitality industry.

“Chaos, delays and misery are part of the daily struggle for those wanting to get into the capital.”

Trains were not stopping at some stations such as Earlsfield because of concerns over overcrowding due to fewer trains.

No trains were running on Monday from more than 40 train stations in London and the wider South

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Dame Lynne Owens was one of the many commuters affected by the rail mayhem.

She tweeted: “Despite their allegedly being no strikes tomorrow the @SW_Help trains into London are much reduced. My first train is an hour & a half after I need it to leave.

“I feel for our officers who work shifts - truly shocking service”

Trains on other South Western Railway services have also been reduced from many commuter towns in Surrey like Farnham, Guildford and Woking, and further afield including Chandler’s Ford and Romsey.

From Farnham, there were just three direct trains planned for Monday morning’s rush hour while there are just two direct services planned for Monday evening, leaving many workers with little option but to drive or work from home.

Commuters looking on National Rail Inquiries were discovering that no trains were being run by SWR from stations such as Earlsfield.

South Western Railway admitted in a response to Ms Wilson that some services face this severe disruption until January 3.

The chaos came despite the second 48-hour strike on the rail network ending on Saturday, with further walk-outs planned over Christmas and in the New Year.

An SWR spokesman said: “We are very sorry that the RMT overtime ban will severely disrupt our customers travel plans throughout the Christmas period and into the New Year.

“While not a strike, the overtime ban limits the number of trains we can get into service each day and we have had to make some difficult decisions to be able to provide a reliable and consistent service throughout the period.

“We are urging customers to check their entire journey before setting off and thank them for their patience and cooperation during this damaging industrial action by the RMT.”

The company had had to close the Clapham Yard depot due to a lack of train shunters, and services were also being hit due to shortages of guards and train despatchers.

The list of stations with no SWR services includes Queenstown Road, Earlsfield, North Sheen, Mortlake, St Margarets, Whitton, Strawberry Hill, Hampton Court, Thames Ditton, Malden Manor, Tolworth, Chessington North, Chessington South, Berrylands, Hinchley Wood, Claygate, Oxshott, Cobham & Stoke D’Abernon, Chertsey, Addlestone, Frimley, Camberley and Bagshot.

The same “no SWR trains” situation was affecting Micheldever, Shawford, Chandler’s Ford, Bitterne, Woolston, Sholing, Netley, Hamble, Bursledon, Mottisfont & Dunbridge, Millbrook, Redbridge, Dean (WIlts), St Deny’s, Swaythling, Wanborough, as well as Lymington Town and Lymington Pier.

Other stations were said to have a limited number of trains with no SWR trains but some from at least one other operator including Ash, Boxhill & Westhumble, Dorking, Romsey, Swanwick, Warminster, Yeovil Pen Mill, Castle Cary, Bruton, Frome, and Westbury

There were also cancellations on Avanti West Coast.

GWR, which runs some commuter services into London and others to the West Country and Wales also warned of possible disruption.

It tweeted: “From Monday 19 to Friday 23 December a full timetable will be in operation. However, due to ongoing industrial action there could be short notice alterations and cancellations.”

Network Rail said passengers should only travel “if absolutely necessary” on Christmas Eve.

“Trains will be busier and finish by about 3pm, with last trains leaving much earlier and no services at all in some places,” it messaged.


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