1. Transport
October 3, 2022

Will the national rail strike 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

October will face even more rail strikes in the UK, with heavy travel disruptions caused by a mass walkout of the RMT and ASLEF rail unions. This will lead most major rail services to be severely reduced or suspended entirely, leaving commuters weighing up their options.

The rail strikes have gone ahead on 1 October for both unions, as well as being scheduled on 5 October for ASLEF and 8 October for the RMT. Normal services may also be affected during the surrounding days as a result of the action.

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

Will the rail strikes affect the Tube and London Overground?

So far, action on the London Underground has not been announced, but London Overground will be affected as it is linked operationally with train operators whose staff are striking.

While the strike will not affect the London Underground network directly, there may be knock-on effects such as overcrowding or delays caused by diversions from the usual train and overground journeys.

Which lines will be affected by the strikes?

The ASLEF and RMT strike on 5 and 8 October will affect trains across multiple networks. The unions have said services on the following lines will be impacted:

  • Network Rail
  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country Trains
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • Southwestern
  • RailwayTranspennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Trains
  • GTR (including Gatwick Express)
  • Hull Trains
  • London Overground
  • Northern Trains

Check with your rail operator for confirmation that action occurs on a given day.

Why is there a strike?

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, are walking out over different disputes depending on the date.

Throughout the summer of strikes, now continuing into the autumn, 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”.

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ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We would much rather not be in this position. We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing our labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said of the latest strike action: “Transport workers are joining a wave of strike action on October 1st, sending a clear message to the government and employers that working people will not accept continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at an all-time high.

“The Summer of Solidarity we have seen will continue into the Autumn and Winter if employers and the government continue to refuse workers reasonable demands.

“We want a settlement to these disputes where our members and their families can get a square deal.  And we will not rest until we get a satisfactory outcome.”

Network Rail has yet to comment on the latest action. However, Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said during the previous July strikes that “the RMT seems hell-bent on continuing their political campaigning, rather than compromising and agreeing a deal for their members.”

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