Strike disrupts services as part of four-day walkout at South Western Railway

Rail services on some of the busiest routes in the country were disrupted for a second successive day on Saturday because of a strike as part of the long-running dispute over guards on trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) on South Western Railway (SWR) have launched a four-day walkout which will hit services until Tuesday morning.

Some trains were cancelled, others were replaced with buses and fewer services ran into London Waterloo, the country’s busiest station.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “On this second day of the latest phase of strike action on South Western Railway over passenger safety and the critical role of the guard at the train/platform interface our members are standing united and determined to secure a genuine settlement.

“The resilience of RMT members throughout this long, hard fight to put safety on the railway first is a credit to the trade union movement.

“It is now entirely down to SWR to engage in serious and meaningful talks that honour the pledges they made to the public earlier this year on safe operation on their trains now and into the future.”

An SWR spokesman said: “The RMT has always said it wanted us to keep the guard on every train which is what we have offered as part of a framework agreement.

“We want to move the conversation on to how we operate our new trains and take advantage of the new technology on board to benefit our customers. We remain committed to finding a solution that will help us build a better railway for everyone.

“During strike action, while services are likely be busier than usual, we will do everything we can to keep customers moving.

“We will be running just over half our normal timetabled service over the course of the four days and have rail replacement services and ticket acceptance in place on other transport providers wherever possible.

“We will also look for opportunities to introduce extra services each day to help keep our customers moving so recommend checking the SWR app for the latest travel information.”

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