Rail passengers will be met with travel chaos on Saturday (October 8) as only 20% of train services will run following strike action by union members.

It comes as more than 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 15 train companies will walk out in a dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Seeing around half of the network closed all day and trains operating for minimal hours between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

Passengers have been urged to “only travel by train if absolutely necessary on Saturday”.

Ahead of Saturday's industrial action, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch wrote to Transport Secretary Anne Marie Trevelyan, urging her to “unshackle” the railway companies and allow them to reach a settlement with the rail unions.

Writing: “I am writing following your comments at the Conservative Party Conference last weekend in which you said that there is a ‘deal to be done’ between the rail unions and train companies in relation to the ongoing industrial disputes.

“I am also hopeful that a negotiated settlement between the RMT and the employers can be reached.

“However, for this to be achieved, your Government must unshackle the train operators who currently take their mandate directly from yourself.”

Following Mr Lynch’s letter, the Department for Transport (DfT) shared a statement that urged union bosses to work with their employers “not against them”.

Adding: “Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation but all strikes will do is punish the very people unions claim to stand up for and push passengers further away.

“We urge union bosses to reconsider this divisive action and instead work with their employers, not against them, to agree a new way forward.”

Passengers are advised to check National Rail Enquiries or their train operator’s website for updates.

People with a ticket for Saturday whose journey is cancelled or rescheduled are entitled to a refund. Alternatively, they can travel on another day up to and including Tuesday, October 11.

Season ticket holders are entitled to compensation through the delay repay scheme.

What train services are not running during the strikes?

  • Avanti West Coast
  • CrossCountry
  • c2c
  • Chiltern Railways
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Railway
  • Southeastern
  • Northern
  • South Western Railway
  • Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express

Services will start later than normal on Sunday morning as workers return to duties.