Rail strikes and engineering works to cause major disruption
National strike action and major engineering work will limit train services this month as passengers are warned of major disruption.
On Saturday 5 November, no trains will run south of Luton with replacement buses running between Luton and Hitchin. Limited East Midlands Railway trains will run between Luton and Corby, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Bedford and Thameslink will run a limited shuttle between Luton and Bedford.
On Monday 7 and Wednesday 9 November, industrial action will mean that a very limited timetable will run across the region between 7.30am and 6.30pm and some routes will be closed altogether.
During the strikes, passengers should only travel by train if it’s necessary.
The impact will be felt between Saturday 5 and Thursday 10 November, with trains likely to start later or finish earlier than usual on the days after each strike.
Network Rail is also continuing work on three major projects including building the new Brent Cross West station, a new footbridge at St Albans City station, and upgrading overhead power lines south of Bedford.
This means that no passenger trains will run between St Pancras and Luton on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 November; or on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 November, and there will be a very limited Luton service on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December.
Additional work on the new Brent Cross West station, overhead power line upgrade and a track renewal at Elstree on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, will also affect services between Luton and Cricklewood.
Gary Walsh, East Midlands Route Director for Network Rail said: “I’m really sorry to passengers who will be impacted by this latest round of strike action. Our fully qualified back-up staff are stepping up wherever they can to continue to run as many trains as possible, but there will inevitably be some significant disruption between Saturday 5 and Thursday 10 November.
“We’re also at a crucial stage in several projects which will deliver better journeys and improved stations for passengers travelling on the southern end of the Midland Main Line. I’m sorry that this will further disrupt journeys.
“Our best advice is to plan ahead, check before you travel with National Rail or your train operator, and to only travel by train if it’s absolutely necessary on strike days.”
With strikes affecting the whole country – including alternative routes north of London such as the East Coast Main Line and West Coast Main Line – services that do run will be much busier than usual and planning ahead is essential.