Rail services set to be affected by strike action

A Northern Rail train.
A Northern Rail train.
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Train services in the North East are to be affected after workers announced they will take industrial action on Monday.

Northern Rail has today published details of its revised train timetable that will operate during industrial action by members with the RMT union on its network on March 13.

The train operator says it expects to run approximately 980 services, or around 40 per cent of its normal timetable, but not all of its routes in the north of England.

The Nunthorpe and Middlesbrough to Newcastle line, which stops at Hartlepool and Sunderland stations, is set to be affected by the action.

The company expects all services to be "extremely busy" and customers are advised to give themselves extra time to travel.

Richard Allan, deputy managing director at Northern, said: “We have focused our planning efforts on maintaining a train service on our busier routes between 7am and 7pm, and are looking to provide replacement bus services on some routes where trains won’t run.

“We are acutely aware of the important role that Northern plays in keeping the north of England moving, would ask for your patience on Monday, and ask all our customers to individually take time to consider whether your journey is necessary and if it is, please plan carefully.”

Northern says it has more than 100 trained managers and other colleagues who will be carrying out some conductor duties to operate the revised timetable.

Northern added that it expects to have details of any rail replacement buses later this week.

Information will also be displayed on posters at all stations across the network and on customer information screens.

The planned industrial action comes at a time when Northern is embarking on a journey to modernise its network by 2020.

This modernisation programme will see the introduction of 281 new carriages, 243 upgraded trains, 2,000 extra services each week and better stations across the network.

Mr Allan added: “Modernising the train journey of our customers means we have to make changes.

"We want to involve everyone as we develop our plans, from our customers and communities, to employees and their trade unions.

“Our proposals are still in the early stages, so it is disappointing that RMT is taking strike action on Monday 13 March, because there is lots of time to talk and agree how we modernise the way we provide customer service.

"As part of our proposals we are prepared to offer guarantees on jobs and pay to our people.”