There are train strikes coming up this week, folks! By now, most of us have found ways to navigate around them (or at least use it as an excuse to stay home), but the strikes can still catch even the most experienced Londoner unawares at times. With action set to impact travel from October 4-7, here’s our train strike guide to get you navigating your way across London with ease.
Which services are affected by the strike?
Both RMT and Aslef are striking, so the industrial action will affect Tube and National Rail services. There will be considerable disruption, across London and national services.
According to TfL, the impact of the strike will be as follows:
- Wednesday, October 4: Tube strike & National Rail strike – services will be severely reduced or will not run at all
- Friday, October 6: Tube strike – service will be severely reduced or will not run at all; no Night Tube.
Tube services may be impacted on the days following strike action (October 5 & 6), until 8am.
Commuters are advised to plan ahead, check line statuses, and allow extra time for travel.
Why is there a strike?
Strike action is taking place amidst ongoing concerns and disputes regarding pay, job cuts, and working conditions.
For a more detailed breakdown, read our guide to the October strike action.
Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary, has said:
“While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt passengers as they try to travel by train – the government, and the employers have forced us into this position.
“Our members have not, now, had a pay rise for four years – since 2019 – and that’s not right when prices have soared in that time. Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.”
What if I’ve already booked a ticket?
If a passenger’s train that the ticket is booked for is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled then they are able to get refunds on their Advance, Anytime or Off-Peak tickets.
National Rail’s advice during the strikes is to use its Journey Planner, check the Live Trains page for the most up-to-date information on arrivals and departures, and plan ahead and check before you travel.
Are Overground and DLR services affected by the train strike?
No. There are no strikes planned to impact the DLR or London Overground services. There may, however, be some disruption from station closures in the case of stations that also serve London Underground lines. You can also expect these services to be much busier than usual due to increased demand.
The Night Overground will run on October 6, but will not stop at Whitechapel or Canada Water stations.
Is the Elizabeth line running?
Yes. There is no strike action planned for the Elizabeth line. However, it may be affected by station closures and increased usage, as above.
It is likely that trains may not stop at stations in Central London. Additionally, passengers may be required to get off at Paddington, Liverpool Street, or Whitechapel and continue their journey using an alternative method.
Are the buses running?
Buses are running, but will likely be much busier than usual.
The London tram services and IFS Cloud Cable Car services are also expected to run as normal.
How else can I get around London?
The Santander Cycles are available for hire as usual, although it might be a little trickier than usual to grab one, with more people using them. There’s also Dott, HumanForest, Lime Bikes, and TIER. And, of course, there are also those handy little e-scooters available for hire across London.
Even more ways to get around
River boat services – like Uber Boat – will also be running so you can add some river views to your commute if you’d like.
If you’re relying on the power of walking to get around, you can refer to this nifty map, which shows the number of steps between each tube station.
Finally, London’s fleet of black cabs and ride-hailing services (such as Bolt and Uber) are all running. However, we suspect there might be some surge pricing happening on the apps as the demand for rides increases. Good luck out there!
Also published on Medium.