24-hour rail strike to go-ahead on Sunday

First Great Western talks with RMT union fail

Jane Meredith


Jane Meredith


01635 886637

Gt Western Train_1

A 24-hour strike affecting First Great Western train services is set to go ahead on Sunday (Aug 23).

The strike is likely to hit thousands of travellers on Sunday (Aug 24), along with holidaymakers, after further union talks broke down yesterday (Thursday).

First Great Western's (FGW) Sunday (August 23) intercity rail service is likely to be reduced by at least half, after further talks with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) members yesterday (Thursday) failed to resolve a dispute over new high speed trains. 

A 24-hour walk out is planned on Sunday, with a further 72-hour walk out scheduled over the bank holiday weekend, from Saturday August 29.

The strikes are set to start at 12.01am and end at 11.59pm. 

More talks are lined up on Monday (Aug 24), but Sunday's action will mean at least half of the company's  intercity service will be cancelled, with one train an hour between Paddington and Bristol, south Wales and the south west of England.

Portsmouth to Cardiff trains will only run between Salisbury and Swindon, with the strike action set to bite into the peak August holiday season, with no FGW trains running to, or from, Weymouth.

In the Thames Valley almost all suburban services will run as normal.

The dispute is over the first Hitachi Class 800 Super Express train, which  arrived in February for testing and will run on the Great Western main line from 2017 and the East Coast main line from 2018.

Issues which the RMT say have not been resolved include the proposed introduction of driver-only operation, with door operation procedures to transfer from the guard to the driver.

A 48-hour strike last month affected high-speed services between London Paddington, South Wales, the Cotwsolds, the Thames Valley region and the west of England.

First Great Western has published a list of changes to its scheduled services, due to Sunday's strike action. For more details visit www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

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