Strike action beginning on Christmas Eve will severely limit rail services with people being advised to only travel if “absolutely necessary”, Scotland’s rail operator has warned.
In the latest round of RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) union strikes, thousands of members are on strike due to an ongoing pay dispute.
The strike will begin on Christmas Eve at 6pm, with services winding down earlier than usual from 3pm – much earlier than usual.
No trains will run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, with services expected to resume at later in the day on December 27.
David Simpson, ScotRail Service delivery director, said: “We’re reminding customers that ScotRail services will be disrupted over the Christmas period as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT.
“Services will be stopping earlier than usual on Christmas Eve, there will be no services on Boxing Day, and the first trains will start later than normal on Tuesday December 27.
“We know this is really frustrating for everyone impacted and we’re urging customers to plan ahead and check their entire journey in advance.”
Avanti West Coast is also strongly urging customers to only travel if absolutely necessary and check their journey during the festive period.
The last train from Glasgow to London will depart at 10.40am on December 24.
Barry Milsom, executive director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “Over the festive period there’ll be changes to our services due to planned improvement work, as well as strike action by RMT members at Network Rail.
“As a result, our last trains will depart earlier on Christmas Eve and services will start later on December 27, so the advice to customers is only travel if absolutely necessary on those days.
“In addition, we’ll be operating an amended timetable and some journeys will involve a change or rail replacement service.
“We’re urging our customers to plan ahead and check before they travel if making a journey on our West Coast route between December 24 and January 2.”
The RMT has also announced plans for four days of strike action early in the new year, starting on January 3.