South Western Railway's December Strike Could Ruin Your Christmas Party Plans

South Western Railway's December Strike Could Ruin Your Christmas Party Plans
Image: Shutterstock

With the RMT's 28-day strike on South Western Railway due to go ahead in December and January, the train operating company has released planned timetables for the strike days.

A team of 'contingency guards' will be called in to keep services running as smoothly as possible, and it's currently predicted that 'more than half' of normal Monday-Friday services will run.

However, the big change to watch out for — particularly as it's Christmas party season — is that many services will be finishing 2-3 hours earlier than normal at night, with very few services running after 11pm. That means it might be carriages at 10.30pm from the office Christmas do this year, if you live anywhere on the South Western Railway network.

Click for larger version Image: South Western Railway

For example, the last weekday service out of Waterloo on the Portsmouth Harbour via Guildford line will leave at 22.45. The last Waterloo-Basingstoke stopping service leaves at 22.42, and the last Woking service is at 22.50.

You can also expect queuing to be introduced at the busiest stations (and we suspect Waterloo and Clapham Junction will be on that list) to manage crowds at peak times. Off-peak services are likely to be less frequent, and buses replace trains on some lines. South Western Railway will stop running services altogether on routes it shares with other train operating companies (see map above for full details).

The strike is due to take place every day in December expect Sunday 1 December, Thursday 12 December (election day), and 25 and 26 December — when there would normally be no service anyway. The strike also takes place until 23.59 on 1 January.

Happy Christmas, commuters.

Find out more about the strike, see South Western Railway's current plans, and see individual route timetables for strike days.

Last Updated 25 November 2019