No trains serving Thanet and wider Kent area during three days of strikes

Southeastern trains will be affected by the action Photo John Horton

There will be no trains on Southeastern routes except for a limited service on the Dartford and Orpington routes and Highspeed route between London St Pancras and Ashford on June 21,23 and 25th due to strike action.

Rail union RMT  says more than 50,000 railway workers across the country will walkout as part of national strike action in the biggest dispute on the network since 1989.

The union will shut down the country’s railway network on 21st, 23rd and 25th June, saying it is due to the inability of rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT.

The RMT say Network Rail and train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs. Despite intense talks with the rail bosses, RMT says it has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies.

RMT Industrial Action on Southeastern means the vast majority of trains will not run, and most stations will be closed

Services will be severely restricted with most routes closed completely and only 20% of trains running

Significant morning disruption is expected on the days immediately after industrial action; Wednesday 22, Friday 24 and Sunday 26 June.

Scott Brightwell, Southeastern’s Operations and Safety Director, said: “We want to avoid industrial action, because we know it’ll be really difficult for our customers. If these strikes go ahead there’ll be significant disruption to our services between Tuesday and Sunday.

“The number of train services we’ll be able to run will be extremely limited. Many of our routes will have no trains and most stations will be closed. So, we’re advising passengers please do not travel on strike days as we cannot guarantee you will be able to travel.

“We want to make sure you’re fully refunded for not being able to travel. Information on how to claim refunds is available on our website.

“I’d like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience and frustration this industrial action will cause. We urge the RMT to call off the industrial action, and work with us to find a resolution as we look to rebuild the railway together.”

Fewer than 40 stations on Southeastern’s network will be open, with only the London-Orpington and Dartford lines remaining open within London, running a very limited service.

There will be no trains serving most of Kent, including the Medway Towns, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Thanet, Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover, with Highspeed trains only running between London St Pancras and Ashford.

Southeastern is unable to provide rail replacement buses or taxis and is reiterating the advice not to travel on strike days because it is likely that customers will be unable to board trains, or are unable to make their return journey, before the railway closes down in the early evening.

The RMT balloted members at 15 train companies (including Southeastern) plus Network Rail for industrial action. Members at 13 train companies plus Network Rail have voted in favour of national strike action.

A action will include picket lines at stations including Ramsgate on strike days starting at 7:30am each day.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously.

“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising.

“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.

“Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement.

“RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they will need to come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways.”