The realities of the rail strike – for train drivers and for passengers

More rail strikes announced across the UK - here's the realities for train drivers and for passengers

Pictured is Derby Railway Station
An archive photo of the front of Derby Midland Railway station amid all of the rail strikes. Credit to Harry Mitchell / Wikimedia Commons (

Rail passengers all around the country have been warned of ongoing industrial action after the train drivers announced a further set of strikes – as they continue to act over pay disputes. 

The announcement of more strikes comes fresh after another weekend of disruption took place all over the country, with 16 rail companies announcing that their services will be brought to a standstill multiple times over the coming months. 

Of course, all the disruption occurring results in headaches for those who need to travel for work or for education. Chloe Wakeham, a second-year student at the University of the West of England struggled to get back to her university accommodation from her home in Llantwit Major, in Wales.

The 21-year-old said that she was left “stressed and frustrated” following the cancellation of her train from her village back to Bristol.

She continued: “I was unaware of any strikes happening this weekend, so I thought I was fine [about getting back to university].

“But when I got to the train station and there were no trains running and I had to be back at uni for Monday for an exam, I was really nervous and did not know how I was going to get back.”

She finished by saying that information on strikes should be made clearer to give those travelling more opportunities to sort alternative travel plans.

But Jamie Madden, a train driver for East Midlands Railway, who took to the picket lines throughout 2022 and 2023 said the strikes are “the only way” to have an impact on a positive solution.

Jamie said: “We do not want to have to do it [strike] however negotiations clearly are not progressing and now the offer we have been given is below the rate of inflation.

“I understand that it’s an inconvenience to the general public but it’s an inconvenience to us too.”

The strikes are set to continue after the train drivers’ union ASLEF and the Rail, Maritime, and Transport (RMT) workers’ union both rejected revised pay offers for their members last month. 

National Rail has warned passengers to expect “significant disruption” during strike days, which are likely to result in little or no services across its network.

Train drivers are staging further days of walkouts on Wednesday, May 31 and Saturday, June 3 with more dates set to be announced in the coming weeks. This follows a cease of services last weekend.

As well as commuters, fans of both Manchester City and Manchester United are set to struggle to reach Wembley on the day of the FA Cup final due to strikes on June 3.

Additionally, those looking to attend the Beyonce ‘Renaissance Tour’ concert at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium are likely to struggle on the same day.

This comes days after strikes affected those traveling to the Eurovision song contest in Liverpool following the RMT strikes over the weekend.

While efforts to resolve the disputes continue, it remains uncertain when a lasting solution will be reached.