UK News Heritage train company launches service in competition with Avanti West Coast
When are the next strikes? Full list of unions threatening action in August as workers demand better pay
Thousands of workers across various sectors are planning industrial action this month in protest at pay and conditions . © Provided by The i Mick Whelan (centre in suit), general secretary of Aslef, on the picket line outside Paddington train station in London last month (Photo: Maighna Nanu/PA Wire) Further industrial action from rail, Tube and bus workers mean commuters can expect more disruption to travel over the coming weeks.
A heritage train company is launching a charter service between London and the North West to help passengers frustrated by Avanti West Coast’s severe disruption.
Crewe-based Locomotive Services Group will begin operating a first class-only charter service to and from London Euston on Friday.
The train’s air-conditioned carriages are restored British Rail Mark 3 stock with three-abreast seating, tables, power points and large windows.
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The service will only operate on Fridays, and will run at 110mph using electric locomotives.
It will depart from Crewe at 2.29pm, running non-stop to arrive at London Euston at 4.12pm.
Locomotive Intercity Ltd are pleased to announce a new charter train service operating into/from London Euston commencing on the 19th of August 2022 and running every Friday during August and into September.
— Locomotive Services Group (@LocoServicesGrp)
The train will set off to return north at 5.27pm, calling at Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe and Wilmslow before arriving at Manchester Piccadilly at 8.45pm.
August train strikes: Which lines will be affected and the full list of rail companies facing strikes
More action is planned on national rail networks in August, along with strikes on the London Underground and Overground . Here is everything you need to know. When are the rail strikes in August? Unions have planned strikes for: Saturday 13 AugustThursday 18 AugustSaturday 20 August The 13 August strike is organised by Aslef and includes train drivers at nine rail companies: Avanti West CoastCrossCountryGreater AngliaGreat Western RailwayHull TrainsLNERLondon OvergroundSoutheasternWest Midlands Trains The RMT has organised the strikes on 18 August and 20 August.
Passengers can travel “in comfort and style without the stress of normal rail services”, according to the operator.
It added: “Say goodbye to packed commuter trains and hello to luxurious legroom and cushioned comfort.”
Fares cost £75 each way.
Avanti West Coast passengers booking at the last minute for travel from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly on Fridays in standard class are charged £68.60 for an off-peak single.
First-class travel – which, unlike on the charter train, includes food and drink – costs £169.30.
But many customers have faced major disruption in recent weeks.
Timetables have been slashed, with services between Manchester and London reduced from three per hour to one per hour.
Passengers are also being prevented from booking tickets more than a few days in advance.
The company has blamed workers for embarking on “unofficial strike action”, as the number of weekly services it is able to operate using drivers voluntarily working on rest days for extra pay has reduced from around 400 to 50.
Drivers’ union Aslef accuses the operator of failing to employ enough drivers.
Charter trains have not been used for regular services on Britain’s railways since summer 2018.
Heritage operator West Coast Railway ran a shuttle between Windermere and Oxenholme for people visiting the Lake District because Northern stopped serving the route due to major problems with new timetables.
Four-hour queue chaos at Eurotunnel in Calais: Furious Britons slam 'absolute joke' Le Shuttle .
Families on social media said they were stranded in queues of four hours or more, with some complaining of the lack of food or toilets during the wait. Above: The queue at border control last night.Families took to social media to say they were left stranded in queues of four hours or more, with some complaining of the lack of food or toilet facilities during the wait.