Following the announcement of strike dates in November by the RMT union, a South Western Railway spokesperson said:
"We are extremely disappointed that the RMT has announced dates for this unnecessary and disruptive strike rather than working with us to find a solution to their problem. No-one wants this, least of all our passengers and staff who will be the ones to suffer.
"We would like to assure our customers that should this strike go ahead, we have contingency plans in place and we will do everything we can to minimise disruption to their journeys.
This action is both premature and unnecessary. We have not yet made a decision on how best to operate our new fleet of trains – trains that are not due to be in service for two years, and the way forward is to discuss how we operate them for the benefit of our passengers with our employees, and the union.
"RMT bosses aren’t acting in the best interests of its members on the ground in SWR, who have said that our recent discussions have been open and productive. We urge the union to get back around the table to further discuss the issue so we can all agree on a way forward."