Email received from Head of Public Affairs, Gerat Western Railway
We promised to update you this week ahead of strike action being taken by ASLEF (train drivers) at GWR and 11 other train operators this Saturday 26th November.
The vast majority of our network will have no service whatsoever. We will be able to run a very limited service only between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, Reading and Basingstoke, and Reading and Oxford. These will start later and finish much earlier than normal, and we expect them to be extremely busy, and so we advise customers to only travel on these services if absolutely necessary. No other GWR services will operate. We also expect disruption will continue into Sunday 27th November. Journey planners for both Saturday and Sunday have now been updated.
We have made customers aware through traditional and social media, direct contact through email, journey planner warnings, and at station and on board announcements. We also have our dedicated strike page www.gwr.com/strike with full information on refunds and ticket acceptance in the days following the strike.
There are several large events due to take place across our network this Saturday; the strike means that no trains will serve Bath Spa for the first day of its Christmas market. There will also be no GWR trains to or from Cardiff for the rugby international against Australia, or at Newbury for the Coral Gold Cup Day, and we are also advising customers heading to Twickenham for the rugby international against South Africa to seek alternative ways to travel. We are in close contact with the event organisers to ensure the message is shared with those planning on attending.
We are very grateful for your help in spreading the message about the impact of the strike, and any assistance you can give on this occasion would be very much appreciated, particularly if you can share our social media messaging from www.twitter.com/gwrhelp which will be updated throughout the week and on Saturday & Sunday, including last train times.
You may also have seen that the RMT has announced new strike dates at both Network Rail and train operators including GWR over the coming months – 13th & 14th and 16th & 17th December, and 3rd & 4th and 6th & 7th January. As before these strikes will have a major impact on our services, with most of our network likely to have no trains running whatsoever. We will be in touch with more information as soon as we can. The RMT has also instructed its members not to do any overtime or rest day working from 18th December to 2nd January and that this also applies to Network Rail signallers and GWR on-board and station staff.