Ghost town stations as fresh wave of strikes grinds ScotRail to a halt

Services will run on just five central belt routes on Wednesday amid a Network Rail worker pay dispute.

Ghost town stations as fresh wave of Network Rail strikes grinds ScotRail to a halt iStock

Fresh industrial action has seen railways across Scotland grind to a halt as a pay dispute with Network Rail continues.

A 24-hour strike started on Wednesday with members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT) walking out over what they described as a “paltry” raise offer.

The latest deal was backdated to January, with a rise of 2% next year and a further 2% conditional on “modernisation milestones” being achieved.

Last month, commuters faced disruption to their travel with strike action taking place across three days.

Only a fraction of ScotRail trains will run on Wednesday, as staff, including signallers, walk out during the first of three planned strike days.

The strike action by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT) will “severely limit” the number of services operating for passengers and freight across Scotland.

Just five routes in the central belt will continue to operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm, Scotland’s national train operator has said, while workers are set to picket stations.

RMT confirmed pickets for Wednesday at Glasgow Central, Edinburgh Waverley and Aberdeen.

There will also be protests outside the Network Rail’s head office on St Vincent Street in Glasgow on Wednesday afternoon as well as outside depots in Irvine, Carstairs, Salkeld Street , Edinburgh South Gyle, Portobello, Motherwell Newhut Road and Dundee.

Strike action also saw disruption on Tuesday evening and more is expected the morning after on Thursday, due to the closing and reopening of signal boxes at different times across the country.

Network Rail Scotland signallers and maintenance staff, who are in safety-critical roles, will take industrial action on July 27, and August 18 and 20.

The only routes that will run on Wednesday are:

  • Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High: two trains per hour
  • Edinburgh – Bathgate: two trains per hour
  • Glasgow – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour
  • Glasgow – Lanark: two trains per hour
  • Edinburgh – Glasgow via Shotts: one train per hour

ScotRail urged people to only travel if necessary and to expect disruption if they do.

Final services on these routes will depart well before 6.30pm, ScotRail said, so customers are urged to check before travelling.

The strike action will affect Network Rail operations and 14 train companies across Britain – including some cross-border operators on Scotland’s railway – causing significant disruption for customers.