Members of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen Union (Aslef) - which represents the UK’s train drivers - have voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay.
Drivers at eight different trains companies - which includes routes through London - will walk out on July 30.
“Strikes are always the last resort,” said Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef.
“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – our friends and families use public transport, too – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies driven by the government.
“Many of our members – who were, you will remember, the men and women who moved key workers and goods around the country during the pandemic – have not had a pay rise since 2019.
“With inflation running at north of 10% that means those drivers have had a real terms pay cut over the last three years.”
The train drivers are demanding pay rises in line with inflation - which is driving the current cost of living crisis.
“It’s not unreasonable to ask your employer to make sure you’re not worse off for three years in a row,” Mr Whelan added.
“Especially as the train companies are doing very nicely, thank you, out of Britain’s railways – with handsome profits, dividends for shareholders, and big salaries for managers – and train drivers don’t want to work longer for less.”
This is the latest in a series of rail and Tube strikes which have hit commuters in recent months.
In June, members of the RMT Union - including London Underground workers and Network Rail staff - walked out in the biggest rail strike in decades.
The Aslef strikes will likely not affect as many routes, but will still have a big impact on tens of thousands of commuters.
When is strike action due to start?
Aslef has announced that the strike will take place on Saturday July 30.
Which rail companies are affected by train strikes?
Aslef has balloted almost 5,000 drivers working at eight different rail companies, and all voted in favour of strike action.
- London Overground (Arriva Rail London)
- Chiltern Railways
- Great Western Railways
- Northern Trains
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains
Ballots close on Wednesday July 27 at Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and Direct Rail Services which is a freight company.
Which routes will likely be affected by the train strikes?
Of the eight rail companies which have voted to strike, five will impact Londoners.
- Chiltern Railways: From West Midlands and Bucks through north-west London (Harrow & Ruislip) to Marylebone.
- London Overground (Arriva Rail London): Routes across outer London including to West Croydon, Clapham Junction, Richmond, Stratford, Highbury and Islington, Gospel Oak, Chingford, Barking, Cheshunt and Watford.
- Great Western Railways: Routes from London Paddington to Reading, Swindon, Bristol and Wales.
- LNER: From King’s Cross to Peterborough, York, Newcastle and Scotland.
- 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.
Can I get refund for my ticket on strike days?
As the dates for the strikes have not been announced yet, National Rail has not announced its policy - however it is highly likely it will be the same as previous rail strikes.
For the train strikes in June, National Rail said:
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.
What has the Department for Transport said?
The Department for Transport urged Aslef to reconsider, saying that train drivers earn just under £60,000 per year on average - more than twice the UK median salary.
A spokesperson said: “Is it very disappointing that, rather than commit to serious dialogue with the industry, Aslef are first seeking to cause further misery to passengers by joining others in disrupting the rail network.”