1. Transport
January 24, 2023

How will train strikes affect London’s tube and overground?

National rail workers are set to go on strike – but how will London's Tube be impacted?

By Ben Kosma and Sean Martin

February will face further train strikes in the UK with heavy travel disruptions due to walkouts by multiple rail unions. This will lead many rail services to be severely reduced or suspended, leaving commuters weighing up their options.

underground train
London is bracing itself for more train strikes. (Photo by David-Prado/iStock)

When are train strikes taking place?

Following the strikes in the new year, the RMT and ASLEF rail unions have scheduled further dates for 1 and 3 February among workers at 14 and 15 railway companies respectively. The ASLEF strike comes in response to a rejected pay offer that was made without consultation.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, said: “The proposal is not and could not ever be acceptable but we are willing to engage in further discussions within the process that we previously agreed.”

The 1 February strike date coincides with the TUC day of action, in which multiple unions are coordinating their walkouts.

Will the rail strike affect the tube and London Overground?

The early February RMT and ASLEF strike dates announced so far will only cover rail operators, meaning that Transport for London (TfL) underground services are unlikely to be directly affected. There may however be knock-on effects or disruption caused by alterations to usual travel patterns.

However, from 12 January to 28 February, TSSF workers on the Elizabeth Line are operating an effective ‘work to rule’ policy, meaning that they will only work contracted hours. This may affect Elizabeth Line services.

There will also be strikes on the Bakerloo line on Saturday 4 and 11 February, as well as a part closure between 11 and 19 February on the Bakerloo line and London Overground between Euston and Watford Junction.

The affected train companies for the ASLEF strikes are:

Content from our partners
How to make markets a main player in the urban energy transition
How Newham can lead the way on net zero 
City of London Corporation brings stakeholders together to drive climate action 
  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • GTR Great Northern Thameslink
  • London North Eastern Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • Southern/Gatwick Express
  • South Western Railway (depot drivers only)
  • SWR Island Line
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains

RMT strikes will affect:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country Trains
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • South Eastern
  • South Western Railway
  • Transpennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Trains
  • GTR (including Gatwick Express)

Why is there a train strike?

Throughout the summer of strikes, which continued in the autumn, winter, and now 2023, union bodies have highlighted pay rises that do not match inflation and the increasing cost of living. The RMT has also cited the refusal to “give any guarantee against compulsory redundancies”.

The RMT had previously negotiated an agreement to commit to a pay deal and work on a settlement. However, the union then claimed that Network Rail has “reneged” on the deal and intended to impose further job cuts and other changes that had not been agreed upon.

The strikes are likely to carry on until an acceptable settlement can be reached, with RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch stating “Our negotiations will continue with the rail operators to create a package on jobs, conditions and pay that can be offered to our members.”.

Topics in this article : ,
Websites in our network