No SWR services to Portsmouth or on the Isle of Wight on 1 September

Tuesday 29th August 2023
Class-444_Train_Platform_ 19
  • Nationwide strike action by members of the ASLEF Union will severely affect travel on Friday 1 September
  • There will be no South Western Railway services towards Portsmouth or on the Island Line
  • There will be an extremely limited service operating on a small number of lines and the rest of the South Western Railway network will be closed  
  • Customers are advised to only travel if absolutely necessary
  • Journey planners are now up to date and the latest information is available at

SOUTH Western Railway (SWR) is reminding customers that it will not operate trains to or from Portsmouth on Friday 1 September and the Island Line will be closed.

Friday 1 September will be the first day of ASLEF Union strike action that affects SWR’s main line drivers. Previous ASLEF Union strike dates were limited to depot drivers, who bring trains in and out of service. 

With far fewer main line drivers available, SWR will operate a much different timetable to previous strike days. 

While both lines to Portsmouth (via Guildford and Fareham) are not served during days of strike action, Friday 1 September will also see no services south or west of Basingstoke. 

Major stations such as Winchester, Eastleigh, Southampton Airport Parkway, Southampton Central and Salisbury will not be served by SWR. There will also be no service on the Island Line. 

An extremely limited service will operate on a small number of lines across the rest of the SWR network with trains only running between 0700 and 1900. 

The majority of the SWR network will be closed and only the following services will run:  

  • Waterloo to Woking – 2 trains per hour (tph) (4tph during peak hours) 
  • Waterloo to Twickenham – 2tph  
  • Waterloo to Basingstoke – 1tph  
  • Guildford to Woking – 1tph  

Customers are advised that there will be far fewer mainland services than previous strike days and they should only travel if absolutely necessary.  

An RMT union strike then takes place on Saturday 2 September. Whilst more of the network will be open than Friday 1 September, overall there will be a significantly reduced service and trains will only run between 0700 and 1900. 

As on previous RMT strike days, Portsmouth will not be served however the Island Line will have a normal service.  

Customers are again advised to only travel on the mainland if absolutely necessary.  

Journey planners for both Friday 1 and Saturday 2 September are now up to date. Customers should check their entire journey before travelling, as other train operators will also be affected. 

Stuart Meek, South Western Railway's Chief Operating Officer, said:

“This is the first time our network has been subject to full strike action by members of the ASLEF Union and, as a result, we are only able to offer an extremely limited service on Friday 1 September.

“Friday 1 September will be different to previous days of strike action with a lot fewer trains running and with the majority of the network closed. Our advice to customers is to not travel unless your journey is absolutely necessary. The few services we will be running are likely to be extremely busy and we may have to use queuing systems and crowd control measures.

“A significantly reduced service will operate the following day, Saturday 2 September, with more lines open but with large parts of the network still closed. Trains will only run between 0700 and 1900 and so our advice, again, is to only travel if journeys are absolutely necessary.

“If customers must travel on either day, they should check their entire journey before travelling, with other operators also impacted by strike action. We're really sorry for the disruption."