South Western Railway outlines services during industrial action in May

9 May 2023

SOUTH Western Railway (SWR) has outlined its services during industrial action on Friday 12, Saturday 13 and between Monday 15 and Saturday 20 May.

On Friday 12 May a nationwide strike by ASLEF union members will affect SWR's network-wide depot drivers, who bring trains in and out of service, as well as drivers on the Island Line.

Contingency timetables are still to be confirmed however SWR can confirm the following service changes:

  • A reduced timetable will operate on suburban routes
  • A reduced timetable will operate on the West of England Line and in the Romsey area
  • There will be no services on the Island Line

Unexpected staffing challenges during the last ASLEF strike led to a number of short notice cancellations. An amended timetable is intended to prevent similar disruption and provide customers with greater certainty as to which services will run.

Full details of service changes will be confirmed as soon as possible, and customers are advised to check before travelling on Friday 12 May. Journey planners will be up to date by the end of Thursday 11 May.

On Saturday 13 May, a nationwide strike by RMT union members will severely reduce the number of trains SWR can run and the hours in which they can operate.

A reduced service will operate between 0700 and 1900 only and large parts of the network will be closed.

Customers are advised to only travel on Saturday 13 May if their journeys are absolutely necessary. Journey planners are up to date and customers are advised if they must travel, they should check their entire journey, as strike action will affect other operators.

Between Monday 15 and Saturday 20 May, there will be a nationwide ban on non-contractual overtime by ASLEF union members, affecting SWR's depot drivers and Island Line drivers.

With sufficient contingency depot drivers SWR expects to run close to a full timetable on the mainland, but services may be subject to short-notice delays and cancellations. A reduced service will operate on the Island Line.

This overtime ban will affect drivers at other operators, so customers are advised to check their entire journey before travelling between Monday 15 and Saturday 20 May at

Claire Mann, SWR's Managing Director, said: "I'm sorry to say that due to nationwide industrial action by the RMT and ASLEF unions we will be forced to make changes to our services on three sets of dates in May.

"We will confirm our services for Friday 12 May as soon as possible and we appreciate our customers' patience while we do so. In recent weeks we have been exceptionally busy preparing for the Coronation and are now focused on providing timetables that our customers can have confidence in. For Friday 12 May we are asking customers to check before travelling, with the latest information available at

"For Saturday 13 we are advising customers to only travel if their journeys are absolutely necessary, with a significantly reduced service on a limited number of lines. Following their fantastic efforts on Saturday for the Coronation, we are proud to again support both the Army and Royal Navy with extra services for their historic rugby fixture at Twickenham.

"Between Monday 15 and Saturday 20 May we intend to run a full timetable, but we are warning customers that in the event of disruption on the network, short notice delays and cancellations are possible. Our advice is to check before travelling and again, we will confirm our train service as soon as possible, with the latest information on our website."

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