Rail chaos as one in five UK train services to run on second consecutive day of strikes

Brits are likely to face travel chaos after the Christmas break as the rail strikes continue for the second of five consecutive days. Only about a fifth of trains are expected to run, leaving the rail network system paralyzed.

Passengers have been advised to travel only if necessary during the latest strike action.

Those trains which are running are expected to operate only between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

The second two-day strike will take place on Friday and Saturday.

Among the 40,000 RMT members striking this week are signalling staff.

As a result, most trains in Wales, Scotland and less populous parts of England will not run at all, while there may only be one train an hour on some mainline routes.

In addition, train drivers who are members of the Aslef union will strike for 24 hours on Thursday, the middle day between the two phases of RMT action.

The strike by drivers is likely to bring yet more disruption, as there will not be any trains running by some of the 15 operators affected, which include Southeastern, Thameslink, Avanti and TransPennine Express.

The latest strikes follow a wave of industrial action over the Christmas period, which also included an overtime ban that ended on Monday night and hit certain train operators hard.

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Network Rail, which owns and maintains the railways, claimed a deal was “within touching distance”.

Boss Tim Shoveller urged the union to “sit down with us” and revisit the deal made before Christmas so it could “make clarifications” where elements of the deal had been “misunderstood”.

The transport secretary, Mark Harper, denied the Government had blocked any path to a settlement.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, has apologised to passengers for the ongoing disruption.

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