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Five-day strike begins on South Western Railway

Passengers on South Western Railway are facing a five-day strike across the network – if you're affected, here's what you need to know. 

A reduced service will be running on most of South Western Railway's network until Saturday 27 October.

The strike is being carried out by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) following disputes over the future of guards on the South Western Railway network. More 24-hour strikes have been announced for every Saturday of November. 

See our Train Delays guide for full info on claiming for disruption. 

How will the services be affected?

South Western Railway hopes to run two-thirds of its services between now and Friday, and half on Saturday. It's yet to confirm plans for the following Saturdays. 

You can check which services it hopes to run using its daily strike timetables.  

During the strikes, you'll be able to use South Western Railway tickets on some other train and bus routes at no extra charge – check for full details. But for some of the affected routes there won't be a replacement bus or alternative rail service. 

Can I claim compensation?

South Western Railway is part of the Delay Repay scheme, which means you can claim compensation if your journey is disrupted due to the strikes, but only against the strike timetable rather than the normal one. Here's what you can claim: 

  • If you arrive more than 15 minutes late you can claim 25% of that leg of your journey back.

  • If you arrive more than 30 minutes late you can claim 50% of that leg of your journey back.

  • If you arrive more than an hour late you can claim 100% of that leg of your journey back.

  • If you arrive more than two hours late you can claim the entire cost of your journey back, including any return legs.

South Western Railway says that if you have an off-peak, super off-peak, advance or anytime ticket and decide not to travel because your train was delayed or cancelled, you will be able to claim a full refund.

You'll have 28 days from your ticket's expiry to claim.

Can I claim for extra costs? 

South Western Railway's website says you won't be able to claim for consequential losses for other costs you incur as a result of the strike – but when we questioned them, they said each case would be considered individually.

It's also worth noting that in March this year a clause saying companies aren't liable for 'consequential loss' was scrapped from the National Rail Conditions of Travel. So if you're left out of pocket due to the strike, there's no harm in trying to claim.

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