Merseyrail will run a limited train service on Tuesday 13 December, Wednesday 14 December, Friday 16 December and Saturday 17 December due to planned strikes by Network Rail staff who are members of the RMT union.
The Liverpool City Region rail network is affected by the UK-wide national walk out, as Network Rail signalling and maintenance employees will be taking industrial action from 02:00 on Tuesday 13 December to 01:59 on Thursday 15 December, and 02:00 on Friday 16 December to 01:59 on Sunday 18 December.
As has been the case during previous strike days, Merseyrail is limited in the number of trains that they can run by the number of Network Rail signalling and maintenance staff that are available. As a result, the operator will run a 45-minute service calling at all stations on selected lines between 07:30 and 18:30 to help passengers make essential journeys.
There are no rail-replacement buses on strike days and those wishing to travel outside of these hours are advised to make alternative travel arrangements where required.
A summary of services that will operate on Tuesday 13 December, Wednesday 14 December, Friday 16 December and Saturday 17 December is as follows:
- Chester and Ellesmere Port lines: No trains will operate between Chester and Rock Ferry or Ellesmere Port and Rock Ferry. Trains will run every 45 minutes between Rock Ferry and Liverpool Central, calling at all stations.
- New Brighton line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
- West Kirby line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
- Southport line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
- Hunts Cross line: No trains will operate between Liverpool Central and Hunts Cross.
- Ormskirk line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
- Kirkby line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
On Thursday 15 December, train services will begin at approximately 07:00 in the morning. A limited rail replacement bus service will be in operation from the busiest stations prior to 07.00. Passengers are advised to visit the Merseyrail website for full details or speak to a member of station staff.
On Sunday 18 December a normal timetable will operate.
Jane English, Acting Managing Director at Merseyrail, said, “We would like to apologise for the disruption caused to our passengers as a result of the action being taken by Network Rail signallers and maintenance staff. We have worked closely with Network Rail to provide an improved industrial action timetable, with a train serving most stations on the network every 45-minutes from 07:30 and 18:30, to help passengers make essential journeys.
“We would remind passengers who are travelling on Tuesday 13 December, Wednesday 14 December, Friday 16 December or Saturday 17 December to plan their journeys in advance and that trains are likely to be very busy. The late evenings of Friday 16 December and Saturday 17 December are likely to be extremely busy as people begin Christmas celebrations. Passengers should consider their journey plans carefully bearing in mind that Merseyrail services will not be operating any later than 18:30 on both days.”
Passengers who normally require assistance to travel are advised to speak to a member of station staff or contact Merseyrail’s customer service team via the operator’s website prior to making their journey. Customers hoping to use the Merseyrail network to connect to onward journeys should check with the operators that they intend to travel with, as many train companies are not running services on Tuesday 13 December, Wednesday 14 December, Friday 16 December and Saturday 17 December.
Strike action planned for 24-27 December may affect Merseyrail services. As soon as information and details are available Merseyrail will issue further guidance to passengers.
Full timetables are available via the operator’s website at www.merseyrail.org/strike