Crowds left waiting at main train stations despite the end of the RMT rail strike


Fragments of people were left waiting at mainline train stations across London and beyond amid continued unrest even though the railway strike ended on Tuesday.

Pictures showed hundreds of passengers packed inside Kings Cross and Paddington, and some flights were delayed due to late delivery of engineering works.

South Western Railway also apologized to customers after a service from Waterloo to Southampton was delayed due to a “train malfunction”.

Travel journalist Simon Calder said there was “chaos” in Paddington, with trains not arriving or departing by 10am despite the industrial strike being ended by the RMT union at 6am.

Travelers in Kings Cross

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A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Services have generally been good but we did have a bit of a disruption this morning in Paddington due to the late delivery of some engineering work.”

It comes after passengers were told to prepare for “significantly disruptive” travel in the new year amid the wave of industrial unrest sweeping the country.

Network Rail’s warning came as members of CrossCountry’s Transport Employees Association (TSSA) staged a 24-hour strike from 9pm on Boxing Day as part of a long-running campaign to ensure there are no compulsory redundancies, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, And wage increases that address the rising cost of living.

The 48-hour strike called by the RMT ended in a separate dispute over jobs, wages and conditions that began on Christmas Eve at 6 a.m., but the disturbance continued.

Passengers are waiting for Euston Station to open

/ Getty Images

The TSSA believes staff strikes will severely affect services in CrossCountry, which covers a wide swath of the country, from Penzance to the Midlands, Wales and northern England through Scottish cities as far north as Aberdeen.

TSSA members work in roles in customer service management, driver management, training, control, customer communications, safety, scheduling and planning.

TSSA members on the Great Western Railway will strike from noon on Wednesday to 11.59am on Thursday, and on West Midlands trains from noon on Wednesday until noon on Thursday.

Earlier, TSSA Organizing Director Nadine Rae said: “Our CrossCountry members don’t want to go on strike, especially over the Christmas break period, but they are sick and tired of being taken for granted.

“They deserve a pay increase to help manage the escalating cost of living, and they rightfully demand job security.

“The company, like all train operators under DoT control, needs to face the fact that only serious bids that meet our aspirations will end this dispute.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “After two years of virtual Christmas, the British public deserve better than to have their festive celebrations affected by strikes.

“The Minister for Transport and the Minister for Railways have worked very hard to facilitate a fair and reasonable offer, two unions have accepted it and it is incredibly disappointing that some have gone on strike.

“We urge them to step back, reconsider and return to the negotiating table, so that we can start 2023 by ending this devastating conflict.”

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