Northern and Grand Central rail services in North East to be hit by five days of RMT and ASLEF strike action

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Train operator Northern is advising passengers across the North of England not to travel for the first week of 2023 due to a series of fresh rail strikes.

Industrial action by RMT and ASLEF unions in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions will bring the majority of services in the North East to a standstill from Tuesday, January 3, to Saturday, January 7.

It will coincide with the return to work for many commuters after the Christmas break.

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Northern, whose services call at Hartlepool and Sunderland stations as well as Seaham, Horden and Seaton Carew, will have a “very limited” timetable with people urged not to travel at all on the strike days.

A Northern train.A Northern train.
A Northern train.

Grand Central, which runs between Sunderland and London Kings Cross via Hartlepool, will also be significantly impacted.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “This is a most regrettable start to 2023 and we can only apologise to our customers whose return to work from the holidays will be disrupted by the action by the RMT and ASLEF.

“For many, Monday 9 January will be their first experience of our new timetable – which went live in December and includes an additional 3,000 services a week across our network.

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“As such, we’re encouraging everyone to use the new ‘Check My Timetable’ feature on our website to see the changes specific to their local station.”

The industrial action is due to include two 48-hour walk outs by the RMT union on Tuesday, January 3, and Wednesday, January 4, and again on Friday, January 6, and Saturday, January 7.

ASLEF members are also due to stage a one-day strike on Thursday, January 5.

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Grand Central services will only run between London Kings Cross and Northallerton on January 3, 4, and 6.

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On Thursday, January 5, the 8.27am London King's Cross to Sunderland, and 17.30 Sunderland to London King's Cross services will not run.

The latest walkouts follow a number of strikes in the run up to and over Christmas.

Network Rail says on RMT strike days, around half of the network nationally will shut down, with only about 20% of normal services running.