Train strikes: When are the walkouts and which lines are affected?

Crowd of people wait in bus line in London during train strikes
Train strikes are set to cause travel disruption over Christmas and into the new year. (Getty Images)

Train passengers will face further disruption over Christmas and the new year as rail workers prepare to stage a fresh series of strikes.

Around 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will take part in eight days of walkouts over the festive period.

The government has condemned the latest round of industrial action, saying it is aimed at causing "maximum disruption".

When are the next train strikes?

RMT members across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will strike on 13-14 December, 16-17 December, 3-4 January and 6-7 January.

Only a small number of services are due to run on main lines on these days.

Commuters form long queues for buses outside Victoria Station in London during the morning rush hour
The government has condemned the RMT's industrial action. (Getty Images)

There will also be an overtime ban across the railways from 18 December until 2 January.

The services facing strike action are:

  • Chiltern Railways

  • Cross Country Trains

  • Greater Anglia

  • LNER

  • East Midlands Railway

  • c2c

  • Northern Trains

  • South Eastern

  • South Western Railway

  • Great Western Railway

  • TransPennine Express

  • Avanti West Coast

  • West Midlands Trains

Why are rail workers striking?

The RMT is in a long-running dispute with train companies over jobs, pay and conditions, as the cost of living crisis grows.

There has been no sign of a breakthrough since the RMT's first wave of strikes in June, which caused mass disruption. Further walkouts took place in July, August and October.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the running of this country and will send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay and conditions for our people.

"We have been reasonable, but it is impossible to find a negotiated settlement when the dead hand of government is presiding over these talks."

Mick Lynch, Secretary-General of the RMT, at a protest in Westminster, central London
RMT boss Mick Lynch has said the strikes will 'send a clear message'. (Getty Images)

Network Rail said it "will not give up" hopes of reaching a deal, but urged the RMT to return to negotiations with "a more realistic appreciation of the situation".

The Rail Delivery Group said it wanted to reach a "fair deal" after making "real progress" in recent talks with the union.

What has the government said?

The government has called on the RMT and rail operators to resolve the dispute.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "Strike action risks putting the very future of the entire industry in jeopardy.

Railworkers from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) stand on the picket line outside Euston station on the 11th day of national rail strikes on 8 October 2022 in London, United Kingdom. More than 40,000 RMT members have been striking over jobs, pay and conditions. (photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)
RMT workers are locked in a dispute over jobs, pay and conditions. (Getty Images)

"These strikes are not only damaging the economy but they're cutting off people in need of urgent care, children going to school and hardworking families.

"The rail industry is facing serious financial challenges and is in desperate need of vital reforms to address them.

"We once again urge union leaders to work with employers and come to an agreement which is fair for passengers, taxpayers and workers alike."

Watch: RMT union boss Mick Lynch defends Christmas and New Year strikes