On Tuesday, the RMT announced three days of walk outs across the country, which will be the largest industrial action on the railways since 1989.
Workers on five London commuter rail routes - Chiltern, Greater Anglia, c2c, South Eastern and South Western - all voted in favour of strike action and will walk out.
The union said this was due to the inability of the rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT.
When is strike action due to start?
The strikes will take place on Tuesday June 21, Thursday June 23 and Saturday June 25.
On June 21, there is also likely to be a Tube strike, which will cripple the entire London Underground network.
With such large industrial action, services can take much of the next morning to get back to a full schedule.
Which rail companies are affected?
RMT balloted over 40,000 members in Network Rail and the train operating companies, with 89% voting in favour of strike action.
The following companies - which run through London - voted for strike action, and will likely not be running services on strike days:
- Network Rail
- Chiltern Railways
- Cross Country Trains
- Greater Anglia
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
- South Eastern
- South Western Railway
- Avanti West Coast
- West Midlands trains
Govia Thameslink Railway - which includes Southern and the Gatwick Express - and Great Northern voted only for action short of a strike.
Which routes will likely be affected by the train strikes?
As well as trains which run into London - such as LNER and Avanti West Coast - five commuter trains companies have voted for strike action, and therefore all of their routes will be affected.
- Chiltern Railways: From West Midlands and Bucks through north-west London (Harrow & Ruislip) to Marylebone.
- c2c: Essex through east London (Upminster, Rainham, Barking, Dagenham, West Ham, Limehouse) to Fenchurch Street.
- Greater Anglia: From East Anglia through north-east London (Tottenham Hale, Stratford, Romford, Hackney) to Liverpool Street.
- South Eastern: From Kent and Sussex through south-east London (Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Croydon, Lambeth) to Victoria, Charing Cross, London Bridge and Cannon Street.
- South Western Railway: From the South West through south-west London (Richmond, Wimbledon, Kingston, Sutton, Wandsworth, Clapham Junction) to Waterloo.
Govia Thameslink Railway - which includes Southern and the Gatwick Express - will still run services, as will London Overground, Great Northern and the Elizabeth line.
However these routes will still be severely impacted as staff at Network Rail, which runs the railways’ infrastructure, are also striking.
Network Rail has said only 20% of trains will will run on lines from around 07:30am until 6.30pm during strike days.
On many rail lines south of the Thames, there will be no services for the entire day on strike days - notably those served by Thameslink, SWR, Southern and Southeastern.
Southeastern trains will only run on the following routes:
London Bridge to Dartford via Greenwich, Lewisham, Bexleyheath or Sidcup (Maze Hill, Westcombe Park, Woolwich Dockyard, Falconwood, Lee and Mottingham closed, with reduced services around two trains per hour at other stations)
London Bridge to Orpington (Four trains per hour calling at all stations via Lewisham)
St Pancras International to Ebbsfleet (Four trains per hour, two of which continue to Ashford)
There will be two semi-fast trains per hour between Victoria and Brighton, complemented by two Thameslink trains per hour between London Bridge and Brighton.
There will also be two trains per hour between each of:
- Victoria and Epsom via Carshalton (not stopping at Cheam and Ewell East)
- Victoria and Epsom Downs via West Croydon
- Victoria and West Croydon via Crystal Palace
- London Bridge and Tattenham Corner (non-stop London Bridge-East Croydon)
There are no Southern trains to Caterham, East Grinstead, Beckenham Junction, Tulse Hill and Watford Junction. On June 22, 24 and 26 there will be generally a Sunday service with no trains before 7.15am.
Note that RMT members are not striking on Thameslink, Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern but these trains will be affected by the knock-on effects of Network Rail strikes.
SWR’s reduced timetable will run from 07:15 to 18:30 on the three strike days, and will consist of:
Four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Windsor via Hounslow*
Two semi-fast trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Basingstoke*
Four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Woking*
Two fast trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Southampton*
*Trains will not stop at all stations on these routes.
Island Line services will not be affected by the industrial action There will be no SWR services across the rest of the network.
Thameslink services are split and are not running a cross-London service through Zone 1.
Trains to North London and the Home Counties will start/end at St Pancras International/King’s Cross and trains to South London and the Home Counties will start/end at London Bridge.
On June 22, 24 and 26 there will generally be a Sunday service with no trains before 7.15am.
There will be two fast trains per hour between St Pancras International and Bedford and two trains per hour calling at all stations between St Pancras International and Bedford.
There will be one train per hour between King’s Cross and Ely calling at Finsbury Park, Potters Bar, Hatfield and then all stations complemented by one semi-fast train per hour between King’s Cross and Cambridge.
Six trains per hour will run between London Bridge and Gatwick Airport, four of which will continue to Three Bridges and two to Brighton.
What is RMT saying about the train strikes?
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 11.1% 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."
What advice has National Rail given about the strikes?
National Rail said: “Following the announcement by the RMT about impending strike action, the rail industry is currently working on implementing its contingency plans to minimise customer disruption as much as possible.
“In the event of your service being affected by strike action cross industry ticket easements and acceptance may be made available.
“While unfortunately, disruption in the event of industrial action is inevitable, the industry will do all it can to minimise the impact of potential strike action for our passengers and help you plan around it and keep moving this summer.
“We will shortly release a timetable for strike days which gives passengers certainty around which services are running.
“We will ask that where possible, passengers check before they travel and look for alternative means of transport if your journey is affected, to avoid disruption on strike days.”
Can I get refund for my ticket on strike days?
If you have purchased an advance, off-Peak or anytime ticket and choose not to travel or the service is cancelled due to the strikes, you may be eligible for a fee-free change or refund from the original retailer of your ticket.
You will need to contact the company you bought the ticket from.
All non-season tickets validity extended for travel the day before or up to two days after any strike action takes place. This may not be valid on the Underground if you have bought a travelcard.
You may be able to use your ticket on another operator or an alternative route.
National Rail said it had suspended the sale of advance tickets on strike days.
What is the Department for Transport saying?
The Department for Transport said strikes should always be the last resort not the first.
A spokesperson said: "It is hugely disappointing and premature that the RMT is calling for industrial action before even entering discussions."