Almost no trains running as second strike set for Scotland's railways

Trains are running on just 12 routes across the country on the day between the RMT's two 48-hour walk-outs.

As strike action pauses on Thursday, only a fraction of ScotRail services are running as disruption continues to impact lines across the country.

Network Rail staff staged with first of two 48-hour walk-outs on Tuesday, with the second beginning on Friday.

ScotRail said its limited strike timetable will operate on Thursday due to the closing and reopening of signal boxes at different times throughout the day.

The train operator urged people to only travel if necessary, with services running on just 12 routes across the central belt, Fife and Borders.

Disruption to rail travel will continue until Sunday, the day after the strikes by RMT union members ends.

Trains will be disrupted again when further action takes place over Christmas.

RMT members working for Network Rail will strike from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27.

Which ScotRail services are running?

The services will start at 7.30am and will end at 6.30pm each day.

The services running are:

Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High: Two trains per hour

Edinburgh – Helensburgh: Two trains per hour

Edinburgh – Glasgow via Shotts: One train per hour

Edinburgh – Cowdenbeath: Two trains per hour 

Edinburgh – Tweedbank: Two trains per hour 

Edinburgh – North Berwick: One train per hour 

Edinburgh – Larbert: One train per hour

Glasgow – Larbert: One train per hour 

Glasgow – Falkirk Grahamston: One train per hour 

Glasgow – Hamilton/Larkhall: Two trains per hour

Glasgow – Lanark: Two trains per hour

Milngavie – Springburn: Two trains per hour

Final services will depart well before 6.30pm, ScotRail warned, with customers urged to ensure they know when their last train will run.

UK Government urged to resolve dispute

Scotland’s transport minister Jenny Gilruth urged the UK Government to take a “different approach” in seeking to resolve the dispute.

“While this is not a matter in which the Scottish Government has any locus, I urge the (UK transport secretary Mark Harper) to take a different approach and work with the trade unions to secure a railway that benefits users, staff and taxpayers,” she said.

“Scotland has embraced the concept of fair work, so it is disheartening to see our own progressive activity in this regard being put at risk by the inevitable wider consequences of the UK Government’s ill-thought out, hasty and hostile approach to industrial relations.”

Gilruth also warned against plans which she suggested could involve compulsory redundancies for Network Rail staff.

She continued: “We do not welcome UK Government plans for so-called radical rail reform agenda which have yet to be explained to Scottish ministers in any detail, but which appear to be a guise for compulsory redundancies in the Network Rail workforce, including in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government remains committed to our long-standing policy of no compulsory redundancies.

“However, the last three secretaries of state for transport have failed to engage in any meaningful conversations on these matters – an approach that is quite unsatisfactory given the seriousness of this Network Rail dispute.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the trade unions in Scotland to make public ownership of Scotland’s railway a success.”

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines insisted that RMT must “stop playing politics”.

“The RMT leadership needs to think long and hard about what to do next. Further strike action will cause further misery for the rail industry and for their members who will lose pay,” said Haines.

“This news is especially frustrating given that we learnt today that colleagues represented by Unite union have accepted the very same offer put to RMT members.

“The RMT are the outliers here. They need to stop playing politics and work with us to bring this dispute to an end.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said that it had “played its part” in trying to resolve the dispute.

“The Government helped facilitate a fair and improved offer, delivering a pay increase more generous than those in the private sector and guaranteeing no compulsory redundancies,” they said.

“The significant proportion of RMT members who voted to accept this, despite being instructed not to, clearly recognised that.

“Unite members have accepted the very same offer and the TSSA leadership has also recommended its members to accept it.

“There is clearly an appetite amongst the workers themselves to strike a deal, which is what makes this result even more frustrating.

“The Government has played its part in trying to resolve this dispute and it’s time for unions to play theirs.

“That’s not only what passengers and the public want, but clearly what a lot of rail workers want as well.”

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