Train travellers face strike misery

Train travellers face a day of misery tomorrow due to another 24-hour strike by guards belonging to the biggest rail union, the RMT.

The industrial action will hit 12 train companies and is the third in a series of stoppages in a dispute about the safety role of guards.

With managers being trained to take over guards' duties, some of the affected companies are hopeful of running near-normal services.

But others may only be able to operate about half the normal number of trains.

The affected companies are Arriva Trains Merseyside, Central Trains, Connex South Eastern, Midland Mainline, ScotRail, Silverlink, South Central, Thames, Virgin West Coast, Virgin CrossCountry (correct), Wales & Borders and Wessex Trains.

"We want the key elements of the safety role of the guards reinstated into the rule book," an RMT spokesman said today.

He went on: "If there are no adequately-trained guards operating tomorrow, the train companies really ought not to be running any services. The managers they are bringing in are hastily and inadequately trained."

The RMT executive was due to meet and was expected to name further strike days.

A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies said today: "Some companies are expecting to run as many as 75-95% of services despite the strike.

"Companies have made it very clear that a strike is taking place and we hope travel disruption will be kept to a minimum."

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