Rail services in parts of England grind to halt in first of three train strikes this week
Rail services in parts of England have ground to a halt with the first of three train strikes this week taking place as the long-running dispute between the unions and the government over pay, jobs and conditions continues.
A 24-hour strike by members of the drivers union Aslef is under way and a further day of industrial action is planned for Saturday, the day of the FA Cup final.
Rail operators have said services will be severely reduced and have urged passengers to plan their journey before travelling.
About 40% of trains will be running but there will be wide regional variations, with no services running on networks including Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Northern, Southern, Southeastern, Thameslink and Northern.
In addition, crew and station staff who are members of RMT will take industrial action on Friday. Around half of normal services will run.
The strikes come after Aslef and RMT rejected a pay offer from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents rail operators. Both unions have said the government is preventing the train companies from making an acceptable offer, which ministers deny.