Strike action to wipe out most rail services across Britain on October 1 | Railway strikes

Network Rail has advised passengers not to attempt to travel next Saturday when coordinated industrial action wipes out most rail services across Britain, as a third rail union has confirmed it will join the strike.

Train drivers at Aslef and RMT union flagmen and crew will stand down for 24 hours on October 1 at the start of the Conservative conference. They will be joined by TSSA members from Network Rail and 11 rail operating companies. Some Network Rail power supply staff at Unite will also strike.

Only around 11% of services will operate on October 1, Network Rail said, with relief staff providing skeletal service when RMT and Aslef members go on strike on the same day for the first time.

The rail industry has said passengers should also only travel when absolutely necessary on October 5 and 8, when first Aslef and then the RMT will stage new strikes amid the bitter dispute over pay and changes of work.

Morning disruptions are scheduled for the days following each strike.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “Our efforts to avoid this disruption have unfortunately been unsuccessful, so we are asking passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary on strike days. Those who must travel should expect disruptions and ensure they check when their last train leaves.

Any breakthrough in the talks to avoid the most intense disruption yet seems less likely after Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget on Friday. The government has pledged to introduce minimum service levels during transport strikes, forcing railway unions to ensure trains keep running and nullifying their efficiency. The RMT said the moves would enrage members.

The Rail Delivery Group said the strikes were “unnecessary and damaging” and would affect important events including the London Marathon.

Affected passengers can use any pre-booked tickets on other days, change their tickets or get a refund, the RDG said.

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