Second day of rail strikes in Lincolnshire, with more travel disruption on the way

Services across Lincolnshire’s rail network will continue to be affected by strikes this week and into the weekend.

No trains running through Sleaford railway station, where lines cross north-south, east-west across Lincolnshire.
No trains running through Sleaford railway station, where lines cross north-south, east-west across Lincolnshire.

The second day of national strikes of RMT union members employed by Network Rail and other rail operating companies takes place today (Thursday) in an ongoing dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Members of the RMT union are striking on Saturday June 25 as well - meaning a significantly reduced service on these days as well as resulting changes to service on Friday and Sunday.

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Critically, on strike days East Midlands Railway, which runs most services in the county, will continue to not operate any services east of Nottingham. As a result, there will be no EMR services to Lincoln, Norwich or Skegness and no replacement bus services will be available, either.

A deserted Sleaford railway station.

Services on Sunday will also be affected with a later than normal start up and a reduction in the overall number of services.

Customers are asked to continue to only travel by rail if it is absolutely necessary.

On strike days, EMR is operating services on every line which is possible to do so. However, some lines are closed and train services are not able to operate - this is due to the different signalling systems used on different lines.

Network Rail are also affected by strike action and the number of staff available is reduced. Network Rail will continue to operate their larger control centres (such as the East Midlands Control Centre in Derby) but there will not be sufficient staff to additionally operate smaller sites and signal boxes. Therefore, lines which are controlled from these smaller sites - such as Nottingham to Skegness - are closed on strike days.

No trains running through Sleaford railway station, where lines cross east-west, north-south across the county.

Neil Grabham, Customer Service Director, East Midlands Railway, said: "We would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding this week - we know these strikes have significantly disrupted the lives of many of our customers right across the EMR network.

"However, there are more strike days planned and ongoing changes to services and we continue to urge customers to only travel by rail if necessary. Critically, on Thursday and Saturday we will not be able to operate any services east of Nottingham - which means no trains to Lincoln, Norwich and Skegness.

"Further information, advice and timetables are available on our website, www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/rail-strike"

Talks are ongoing this week between the rail companies and union leaders.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The union has the same position as it always has - to seek job security with a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies; that any changes to structures, working practices, or conditions have to be agreed with our union, not imposed; and that our members deserve a negotiated pay increase that addresses the rising cost of living."

As well as affecting people commuting to work, a lot of children travel to school in Sleaford by train. Andy Allen, operations manager at the Robert Carre Trust said Carre’s Grammar School and Kesteven and Sleaford High School are liaising with exam students in Year 11 and Year 13 who have exams this week.

He said: “We are hoping all will be able to make alternative travel arrangements if they normally travel by train. If students have real difficulties then we are looking into the options we can assist with.”