Train strikes: What routes are affected when this week?

File photo showing man boarding a SWR train with Industrial Action advice displayed on a noticeboard next to him.

Rail travel is being disrupted this week by industrial action, including strikes and an overtime ban.

Members of the train drivers' union Aslef walked out at 13 rail companies on Tuesday and Wednesday, and members at three other operators will take action on Thursday.

They are also holding a six-day overtime ban, starting on Bank Holiday Monday and running until Saturday.

Which lines are affected in May's strikes?

Drivers from the train companies below have been staging walkouts on different days:

  • Thursday 9 May: LNER, Northern Trains and TransPennine Express drivers are taking action

Drivers at c2c, Greater Anglia, Great Northern, Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway main line and Island Line walked out on Tuesday 7 May.

Drivers at Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway and West Midlands Trains took action on Wednesday.

The overtime ban also means drivers are not accepting any extra shifts, which they say are crucial to the smooth running of the rail network.

Thursday's action is likely to lead to further cancellations, delays and no services in some areas.

Services that do run are also expected to start later and finish earlier than usual.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel.

Can I get my money back for strike days?

Rail passengers with advance tickets can get refunds if the train they are booked on is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled due to strikes.

If passengers have a return ticket they may also be entitled to a fee-free refund if part of the journey is cancelled.

Season ticket holders (flexi, monthly or longer) who cannot travel, can claim 100% compensation for strike dates.

What are the strikes about?

Aslef, the train drivers' union, is seeking better pay for its members. It says drivers are being asked to accept worse working conditions in exchange for a wage increase.

Strike action began in July 2022 but no formal talks have taken place between the two sides since April 2023, when the most recent pay deal was rejected.

The offer, described as "risible" by Aslef, included 4% pay rises two years in a row, on the condition drivers accepted changes to training and negotiated new work patterns.

Train operators say ways of working need to change for wages to rise, because of the financial challenges they are facing and to ensure fairness to taxpayers.

The body which negotiates on behalf of the rail companies, the Rail Delivery Group, says it continues to "seek a fair agreement".

Are more train strikes planned?

Unions need to re-ballot members every six months to see if they want to continue with industrial action.

Currently, unions are obliged to give at least 14 days' notice of any strike action.

In November last year, RMT members, including guards and ticket office staff, voted to accept a pay offer. This included a backdated pay rise of 5% for 2022-23 and job security guarantees.

Talks over future pay deals and working practices will continue.

What is the minimum service levels law?

A new law means train companies can require enough staff to work on strike days to run 40% of services.

The Department for Transport said it expects employers to use minimum service levels "if appropriate to do so, and to deliver the best possible service".

However, industry insiders told the BBC that applying the new rules was complicated. One source said it meant co-ordinating a reduced timetable with other operators in a short space of time.

The Rail Delivery Group, a membership organisation of Britain's train operating companies, said the minimum services levels law was a potential tool but not a "silver bullet".

Unions strongly oppose it.

How much are rail workers paid?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says median pay for "train and tram drivers" is just under £59,000.

Train companies and the government say the offer rejected by Aslef would take average train driver pay to £65,000.

The average salary of rail workers in 2022 was £45,919, according to the ONS.

If drivers are excluded (because they tend to be members of the Aslef union, not RMT) its estimate is £39,518. However, the RMT union said that figure was too high because it does not include rail cleaning staff.

Banner saying 'Get in touch'

Will you be affected by the strikes? Please get in touch by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:

If you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at Please include your name, age and location with any submission.