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Summary

  1. Thousands of rail users face disruption
  2. Up to 2,000 RMT members have walked out
  3. It is part of an ongoing row over driver-only trains
  4. Southern, Merseyrail and Northern services affected
  5. All three strikes are due to end at midnight
  6. Updates on Monday 13 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Rail strikes: Live coverage ends

Our live coverage of the rail strikes affecting Merseyrail, Southern and Northern services has now finished.

You can read more about the strikes here: Passengers stay away as rail strike hits .

Merseytravel warning to commuters

Merseytravel is warning Merseyrail passengers not to leave their journeys to the last minute.

Don’t aim for the last scheduled @merseyrail train, get there early as stations could be busier.

Services are already running down for the evening.

Rail strike: Northern winding down services

Rail company Northern says it has been 'winding down' sevices from 17:00 today.

It follows a day of strike action by RMT union staff.

Southern strike: 'I've lost my regular customers'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Southern says most of its service are operating as normal today but staff at Brighton Chippy near the station say the ongoing strike action is affecting business.

All Merseyrail train services will finish by 19:00 tonight

All Merseyrail services in and out of Liverpool are to finish by 19:00 tonight.

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Merseyrail services winding down for the evening

Merseyrail service update
Merseyrail

Merseyrail station closures

Merseyrail has provided a list of stations which will remain closed for the rest of the day because of industrial action.

Merseyrail list of stations closed
Merseyrail website

Passengers stay away from rail network during strike

Passengers appear to have largely stayed away from the rail network as staff from three train firms across England hold 24-hour strikes.

Selby Station
BBC

Guards and drivers working for Northern rail rail are taking action over proposals for driver-only-operated (DOO) trains, which has affected most services in Yorkshire.

Up to 2,000 rail staff have walked out in the dispute, but limited disruption has been reported.

Northern rail thanked customers for "altering travel plans".

Rail strike: What is a driver-only operated train?

You may have heard of a driver-only operated train - but what does that mean for passengers on the rail network?

Rail staff who are members of the RMT union at Northern, Southern and Merseyrail are on a 24-hour strike in a dispute over the role of guards.  

Management at all three companies have said they want a negotiated solution and deny jobs will be lost. 

Travel update: Bus operator sends out the double deckers

BBC News Travel

Looks like there are extra seats if you usually take the train between Skipton and Keighley

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Travel update: Fewer Northern rush-hour trains

BBC News Travel

The rail service Northern is warning there will be fewer trains running during the rush-hour this evening because of today's strike by RMT union staff.

The company says it will be winding down services between 17:00 and 19:00.

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What would Merseyrail driver-only trains look like?

Strike action is taking place across Merseyrail  over plans to introduce driver-only operated trains.

By 2020, Merseyside's rail network is due to be upgraded with a new fleet of 52 trains which will no longer need guards on board to operate the doors.

More than 220 guard and management posts will be lost with the introduction of the new trains.

The new fleet and platform modifications will cost £460m
Merseytravel
The new fleet and platform modifications will cost £460m
Merseytravel

The £460m project will see platforms altered to meet the new train's lower floors and trains fitted with a sliding step to bridge the gap between carriage and platform.

The existing Merseyrail fleet, originally designed in the 1950s, is almost 40 years old.

None of the permanent guards or guard managers would be forced to quit their employment,  Merseyrail said .   

picket line

Rail staff from three firms across England are striking in a dispute over the role of guards - but what do they actually do?

Read more

'Think now about journey home', warns Northern Rail boss

Northern Rail is urging passengers on routes affected by the 24-hour strike to plan their journeys ahead of this evening's rush hour.

Northern train
BBC

After today's disruption by RMT staff, Paul Barnfield, Regional Director at Northern, said: “We are now concentrating efforts on getting people home this evening.  

"We urge everyone wanting to travel home today to think now about their return journey.    

"Services on many routes will start to wind down from mid-afternoon onwards, with very few trains running after 17:00.  

Northern said it plans to run 980 services during the action period, about 40% of its normal timetable.

RMT Southern strike: 'I hardly knew about it'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

I spoke to passengers at Brighton station. 

One woman didn't think there was a strike being held today but was under the impression previous strikes had been held on Sundays because she'd suffered so much disruption at weekends.

Rail strikes: Northern running 'very few trains after 17:00'

Northern services will wind down early this evening due to the RMT strike action with "very few trains running after 17:00", the rail company has announced. 

Passengers at Manchester's Victoria station
AFP/Getty
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Commuters 'annoyed' with rail strike disruption

Rail passengers travelling from Preston have said they are "disappointed" and "annoyed" with the disruption caused by today's strike on Northern.

The 24-hour action by members of the RMT union is over the introduction of driver-only operated trains.

One commuter said: "I'm kind of disappointed in the rail service. They do a great job but it's not our fault for any disputes with the rail company."

Another said: "It's not very helpful considering I've got assignments to get in."

Northern is running  40% of its normal services.

Industrial action affects three rail firms

Watch: Hull train users affected by rail strike

Commuters using Northern trains in East Yorkshire have been affected by today's rail strike.

Over 1,000 services are not running on the Northern network and the firm has pledged 300 rail replacement buses to help get people to where they need to be.

This commuter explained how he's been affected:  

Rail strike: Travellers warned of early end to Northern Rail services

No Merseyrail trains until 14:00

Southern Rail strike: Eight things you wanted to know

Today's strike on Southern by the RMT is the 30th since the dispute over the role of conductors began.

You sent us your questions to put to the rail company, government and the RMT.

Read about the eight things you wanted to know .

Rail passengers
Getty Images

Rail strikes: All quiet at Manchester Victoria

Manchester Victoria is far quieter than normal during the RMT strikes over driver-operated trains.

Northern operates trains from Victoria to stations across northern England including Liverpool, Wigan, Blackburn and Newcastle.

Single passenger at Manchester Victoria station
AFP/Getty

RMT strike: Analysis by BBC Transport Correspondent

Richard Westcott

Transport correspondent

A Southern train
PA

It's the South and the North today, but could this dispute keep spreading across England?

The government's made it clear that it wants an expansion of "driver-only-operated" trains and that puts it at loggerheads with the unions.

The Department for Transport talks about introducing them in the next two franchises about to be awarded, South Western and West Midlands.

The unions say it's a long-term ploy to get rid of all train guards and save money - they claim it puts passenger safety at risk.

But rail bosses argue it's about modernising the service, freeing up the second on-board person to deal with passengers rather than closing the train doors.

Handing all the safety jobs to the driver means you don't HAVE to have two people on every train before it can leave the station. That would shrink the power of the RMT, because more trains would be able to run if their guards went on strike in the future.

Chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group says there is 'no threat to safety'
Chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group says there is "no threat to safety".

No Merseyrail services between 11:00 - 14:00

Merseyrail has announced there will be no trains operating on the network between 11:00 and 14:00.

Rail staff from Northern, Southern and Merseyrail are staging a 24-hour strike  in a dispute over the role of guards .

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Your voices: Views on the rail strike

Martin Lewes

Reporter

 BBC Radio Cumbria:Views from the public on the rail strike

Surely train guards are there for the customers' safety and benefit and should be maintained. Or how do you stop violence, ticket avoidance and unruly behaviour?"

Rob from Kendal, email to BBC Radio Cumbria

Thameslink has been using driver-only trains for approximately the last 30 years with no problems."

Mike, by text to BBC Radio Cumbria

Who will you pay if you're buying a ticket on the train?"

Several callers to BBC Radio Cumbria

I'm totally in support, it means job losses I believe. I appreciate what the chaps are trying to do."

Les, rail passenger at Carlisle station Rail passenger at Carlisle station

I feel uneasy. There can be incidents nowadays that need someone other than the driver for customer service and safety."

Liz, text to BBC Radio Cumbria

Thirtieth strike on Southern

The RMT strike on Southern is the 30th since a row over the role of conductors began almost a year ago.

Strike-hit rail firm 'doing everything it can'

A spokesman for parent company Arriva Rail North said: "We will operate around 980 services, around 40% of our usual number of weekday services.

"Services will generally be winding down between 5pm and 7pm.

"Northern is doing everything it can to keep people on the move during the strike.

"The services we will provide are based on the availability and location of Northern employees who are trained conductors. 

"Wherever possible, we are also focusing services on our busiest routes into major towns and cities.

"We don’t expect services to be impacted on 14 March." 

A list of timetable changes can be found here.

Passenger safety 'not at risk', says Northern Rail director

Northern Rail says the introduction of driver-operated trains will not put passengers at risk in its dispute with rail unions.

Members of the RMT union are curently staging a 24-hour strike on Northern, Southern and Merseyrail amid concerns that removing conductors from trains will compromise safety.

Northern Regional Director Liam Sumpter says an independent regulator has given assurances that driver-only trains are just as safe. 

Strike information leaflets handed out at Merseyrail stations

Leaflets about how rail services are affected by industrial action today are being handed out at Merseyrail stations.

Merseyrail leaflet
BBC

There are no services  on the Hunts Cross, Kirkby and Ellesmere Port lines .

A half hour service is operating on the Northern Line between Liverpool Central and Southport and Liverpool Central and Maghull but trains will not be calling a number of stations.

The Wirral Line is  operating a half hourly service between James Street and West Kirby and James Street and Hooton, with all services to Chester and Ellesmere Port terminating at Hooton.

An hourly service is running between James Street and New Brighton. 

Rail staff from Northern, Southern rail and Merseyrail  have walked out  in opposition to the introduction of driver-operated trains. 

Rail union wants second person on trains

The union taking strike action on Northern trains today, the RMT, says guards are trained to be able to help passengers in the event of trouble on a train, or a derailment.

Northern says new technology means guards aren't needed for jobs such as checking doors are clear and envisages conductors spending more time with passengers.

Picket line at station
BBC

Speaking at Carlisle station this morning Craig Johnston from the union (pictured right) said: "These new trains will be configured so they can be driver-only operated or conventionally operate with a guard, which will mean there'll be a second person on every train.

"That's all we're asking for, a second person who's safety-qualified and operationally qualified to be able to assist an emergencies."

Northern rail strike: 'Minimal' disruption at Preston

Paul O'Gorman

Reporter, BBC Radio Lancashire

Disruption to Northern rail services through Preston station as a consequence of today's strike action is said to be "minimal", according to BBC Radio Lancashire's Paul O'Gorman. 

Preston station
BBC

The station, which serves national routes between Scotland and London as well as local lines, including Blackpool, Colne, Manchester and Liverpool, has seen a steady flow of passenger numbers this morning.

An automated message at Chorley station said trains are "delayed due to strike action" but other stations on the Northern network are reporting few issues.

Rail strike: Action by members of RMT 'premature'

Kay Crewdson

BBC Radio York

Industrial action by workers from the rail company Northern , means only 40% of their trains are running today. 

There are reduced services running from Selby to Leeds, York via Harrogate to Leeds, Scarborough to Hull, among many routes affected.

The RMT union's Micky Thompson says there are a number of reasons behind the strike:

I've also been speaking to Liam Sumpiter, the regional director of Northern.  

He says the strike action today is "extremely premature":

'The RMT action continues to hold firm'

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

The RMT union has released this statement as its members take industrial action on the Southern network, as well as on Northern and Merseyrail. 

The RMT guards' and drivers' action continues to hold firm in the fight for rail safety nearly a year on‎.

RMT members on Southern have shown incredible courage and resilience in the year-long battle to put passenger safety before private profits‎.

It is about time Southern/GTR got out of the bunker and got back round the t‎able with the union in serious and meaningful talks.

General SecretaryMick Cash

RMT urged to return to talks

The Department for Transport says today's strikes are "disappointing" and "unnecessary" and it is urging the RMT union to return to talks with operators. 

All three strikes are due to end at midnight.

Strike-hit rail firm's staff on hand to advise commuters

Staff from strike-hit Northern on hand to give advice at Leeds railway station this morning.


          Very visible today; Northern staff look on at Leeds station as commuters arrive this morning.

          Very visible today; Northern staff look on at Leeds station as commuters arrive this morning.

Very visible today; Northern staff look on at Leeds station as commuters arrive this morning.

Rail union claims 'rock solid support' for strike

RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, says there is "rock solid" support for the 24-hour strike which has hit services on Northern Rail.

He said: "RMT's action on Arriva Rail North is absolutely rock solid as our members ‎fight for passenger safety and the retention of the guard on the Northern Rail services. Our pickets are out across the franchise and the response has been fantastic.  

"Arriva Rail North should listen to their staff, listen to the public and recognise that there is no case whatsoever for axing the guard from their trains. 

"This action could have been avoided if Arriva hadn't back-pedalled from earlier pledges to retain the guard. 

"It is now down to the company to ‎get that pledge back on the table and engage with the union in talks over a safe and sustainable future built around the guarantee of a guard on the trains."

Only 40% of Northern services are running, the company said.

The firm has also put on 300 replacement buses to offset effects of the industrial action .

Merseyrail apologises for 'much reduced service'

As drivers refuse to cross picket lines at Merseyside railway stations, Merseyrail has apologised to passengers for disruption to their journeys.

Rail staff at Northern, Southern rail and Merseyrail walked out at 07:00 in opposition to the introduction of driver-operated trains.

Merseyrail's deputy managing director Andy Heath said secondary action by ASLEF drivers has resulted in a "much reduced service" than planned. 

Latest Merseyrail information and alternative travel options

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