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Strikes stall train services in Scotland over Christmas


rains in Scotland have stopped running until after Christmas as the latest round of railway workers’ industrial action gets under way.

ScotRail warned no trains north of the border will run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, with services expected to resume on December 27.

The strike by RMT union members at Network Rail is part of a long-running dispute over pay.

ScotRail said trains stopped running in the UK from 6pm on Saturday, when the strike started, with services winding down from 3pm earlier in the day – much earlier than normal.

The train operator said services do not normally run on Christmas Day.

Passengers have been warned in advance to travel only if “absolutely necessary”.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service delivery director, said: “We’re reminding customers that ScotRail services will be disrupted over the Christmas period as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT.

“Services will be stopping earlier than usual on Christmas Eve, there will be no services on Boxing Day, and the first trains will start later than normal on Tuesday December 27.

“We know this is really frustrating for everyone impacted and we’re urging customers to plan ahead and check their entire journey in advance.”

Avanti West Coast is also strongly urging customers to travel only if absolutely necessary and to check their journey during the festive period.

Barry Milsom, executive director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “We’re urging our customers to plan ahead and check before they travel if making a journey on our West Coast route between December 24 and January 2.”

Network Rail said its staff who are members of RMT will be on strike from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27.

The operator said the last trains departing from Scotland to London on Christmas Eve left at 8am from Edinburgh Waverley and at 10.40am from Glasgow Central.

Liam Sumpter, route director for Network Rail Scotland, said: “We understand the frustration and inconvenience this latest round of strike action will cause for our customers.

“We are sorry for the disruption passengers will face throughout the festive period and would urge those who need to travel to plan their journey and check what services are running in advance.

“We remain committed to working with the RMT to find a solution to this dispute, but we also need to agree a deal that is fair on the taxpayers who fund our railway.”

ScotRail services will operate on a normal timetable between Wednesday, December 28 and Friday, December 30, Network Rail said.

The RMT union, however, has announced further plans for four days of strike action early in the new year, starting on January 3.

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