Chiltern Railways issue ‘do not travel’ notice on 27 and 28 December

Chiltern Railways has urged customers not to travel on its services on 27 and 28 December.

Chiltern Railways will not be running a service north of Banbury towards the West Midlands due to industrial action by the RMT. The cumulative impact of this action (strikes and overtime ban) has put immense pressure on Chiltern’s train maintenance depots, meaning that the operator has been forced to run a reduced timetable throughout the whole period of industrial action.

Meanwhile, Network Rail bridge renewals on the West Coast mainline in Camden and Milton Keynes on 27 and 28 December will severely impact journeys to the West Midlands and North West.

Furthermore, additional industrial action by the TSSA union is expected to cause disruption on neighbouring operators such as CrossCountry (27 December), GWR (28 December) and West Midlands Railway (28 December).

Due to the extreme constraints on train travel between London, the West Midlands and the North West on these dates, Chiltern Railways has made the difficult decision to urge customers not to use its services, and to seek travel on alternative dates.

Richard Allan, Managing Director of Chiltern Railways, said:

“We are very reluctantly asking customers to avoid travelling if at all possible between the West Midlands and London on 27 and 28 December.

“Chiltern has stepped up its service levels between the West Midlands and London many times this year to take customers to special events and to offer additional capacity during engineering work on the West Coast Main Line.

“However, the RMT industrial action (strikes and overtime ban) mean we don’t have enough staff in our train maintenance locations to service and fuel the trains we need to run a normal timetable.

“As a result, we have had to shrink our network and the frequency of our services. We are unable to run any trains north of Banbury and therefore unable to serve customers seeking to travel directly by train to the West Midlands.

“We are extremely sorry for the difficulties, inconvenience and changed plans that this will cause.”