SWR promises to keep guards on trains and passengers moving

Wednesday 20th November 2019
  • South Western Railway promises to keep guards on trains and that they will have a safety critical role.
  • Says it will do everything possible to keep customers moving if strikes do go ahead in December.
  • Detailed timetables to be published early next week.

Ahead of 28 days of strike action called by the RMT Union throughout December and into January, Andy Mellors, Managing Director of South Western Railway said:

"We promise that there will always be a guard on our trains. We also promise our guards will maintain a safety critical role on our trains.

"We believe that these promises deliver what the RMT has been asking for, so these strikes are unnecessary.

"All we’re asking is that guards work with us to provide the modern, efficient train service customers need and want by bringing in new trains which could mean over 10 million more passenger journeys arrive on-time in peak hours every year.

"Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, and we know people will be worried about how they get to work, school and other commitments like Christmas parties. 

"So we are working hard on detailed plans for the period of the strikes and we will do everything we can to keep customers moving.

"The prolonged nature of the strike means that we have to allocate our contingency guards to services over a longer period.

"We expect to be running more than half of our normal Monday – Friday services, prioritising capacity and providing a similar number of peak services to previous strikes.

"But we know that during the strike action, services will be busier than usual, and we will have rail replacement services in some places and we’re working to make sure our tickets are accepted by other transport providers wherever possible.

"Please check before you travel, and we will make sure the latest information is available on our website."

Keeping our customers moving

  • Following the RMT union announcing strike action, we will need to run an amended timetable from 2 December until early in the New Year.
  • We appreciate that this is deeply frustrating for our customers and our priority is to operate as many trains and provide as much information as possible to keep them moving.
  • We know this will make travelling for commuters and festive travellers more difficult. We share your frustration and want you to know we’re doing everything we can.

The strike means:

  • Most routes will have a reduced service
  • Some stations will be served by rail replacement buses
  • Some tickets will be accepted on other rail and bus networks
  • Stations and trains will be busier than usual, so please consider leaving more time to access some of our busiest stations and routes.

Check before you travel: customers should check for the latest strike timetables and the details of replacement or alternative services, which will be updated regularly at: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/rmt-industrial-action