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  1. Southern strike: Tuesday 26 April

Live Reporting

By Stuart Maisner

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Disruption to continue tomorrow

Stuart Maisner

Widespread disruption is expected to continue throughout tomorrow morning's rush hour - with the strike due to finish at 11:00 BST. We'll have updates here from 06:30 BST. From the team here have a very good evening and a safe journey home.   

Brighton Station
Brighton Station

Assessment of the strike

Stuart Maisner

As day one of the strike approaches an end our reporter Piers Hopkirk assesses what's brought about the situation and what the chances are of a speedy resolution.   

Reporter Piers Hopkirk assesses the Southern strike

London Victoria 'much quieter than usual'

This was the scene at London Victoria a short time ago.

BBC South East Today reporter Ian Palmer says the station isn't as busy as normal.

London Victoria

Picket line outside Brighton Station

This is the scene at the station this evening.

Picket outside Brighton Station

Get Involved

Your views on the Southern strike

Stuart Maisner

All day you've been sending us your views on the strike.

Email us at

Passengers on Southern train
Passengers on Southern train

Passengers give their views on the strike

We spoke to these people at Three Bridges station to see how today's action has affected them. 

Passengers at Three Bridges station

You've been having your say on social media

Chris Bigness: 'Selfish action by the union and drivers.'

Graham Thom: 'I completely support the strike.'

Martin Lee: ‘Strikes just hit customers and cause problems for people.’

BBC Sussex's Sarah Gorrell is discussing the strike on her Drivetime show

She'll be talking to Dyan Crowther from Govia, which runs Southern Railway, Roger Keyworth from the West Sussex Rail Users Association and she'll also be hearing from the RMT union.

You can listen to her show here.

Sarah Gorrell
Sarah Gorrell will be discussing the Southern strike

Latest from Southern

Stuart Maisner

Southern now says there's minor disruption on the Brighton Mainline. It says it's offering a good service on Gatwick Express and part closure on the rest of its lines.

Passengers on a Southern train

Latest from RMT union

Stuart Maisner

Here's the latest from Mick Cash from the RMT union on why his members are striking.

RMT union's Mick Cash

Southern Trains plan to run 60% of services

Tom Edwards

Transport Correspondent, BBC London

Southern Trains says it is planning to run 60% of services today as strike action gets underway.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union walked out from 11:00 BST for 24 hours.

In a message to passengers, Southern said: "You may have a long wait before you are able to board a train. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee to get you to your destination."  

Latest from Southern

Stuart Maisner

Southern is reporting a good service on the Brighton Mainline and Gatwick Express. But it says there's partial closures on the rest of its lines. 

Southern train driver

Standing room only on Gatwick Express train

There was standing room only on this Gatwick Express train this morning as it headed to London Victoria.

It was filmed by BBC South East reporter Mark Sanders.

Gatwick Express train

Keeping you updated throughout the evening rush-hour

Stuart Maisner

Stuart taking over now, keeping you updated until 21:00 BST with all the latest from the Southern rail strike. 

Remember you can get in touch via twitter, just make sure you use the #southernstrike, or drop us an email

You can also head to our Facebook page and leave us a comment there.

That's it from me

Claire Cottingham

But Lee Gibbs and Stuart Maisner will keep you updated throughout the afternoon with all the latest from the Southern rail strike. 

Keep your comments coming in - you can get in touch via twitter, just make sure you use the #southernstrike, or drop us an email

You can also head to our Facebook page and leave us a comment there.

"We employ absolute legends"

Adam B sent this message to Southern rail via Twitter.

Today's lesson: How to appreciate your workers (good on @SW_Trains) @Southern_Trains @SouthernRailUK #southernstrike

Today's lesson: How to appreciate your workers (good on @SW_Trains) @Southern_Trains @SouthernRailUK #southernstrike

Less than 22 hours to go...

We're just over two hours into the Southern rail strike, which appears to be have affected quite a lot of you today.

You can keep up to date with the latest on the roads, and more importantly the rails, on our travel page. 

Plan ahead though, as the strike is due to end tomorrow at 11:00 BST. 

BBC Travel

'Driver-only operation is a safe method of operation'

The chief operating officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Southern, says driver-only operation is safe.

Dyan Crowther spoke out after the RMT union claimed there was "rock-solid" support from members and the dispute was about safety.

The Chief Operating Officer of Govia reacts to today's strike

'We need trains to be safe'

Keep your thoughts coming in on Twitter using #SouthernStrike. How has your journey been affected today?

You can tweet, email or drop us a comment on our Facebook page. 

Here's what you've been saying already.

@SouthernRailUK consulted the public about Ticket Offices but nothing about removing conductors. Do we get a say? #southernstrike

Supporting Southern conductors in their strike today. We need the trains to be safe. #southernstrike…

Surely the fact they're cancelling the majority of the trains is an indication that they can't cope without conductors?? #southernstrike

Southern rail's negotiation plea

Southern rail had urged the RMT to return to the negotiating table before members walked out in a dispute over planned changes to the conductor role.

The 24-hour strike is the first of three days of industrial action planned for April and May.

Southern rail quote

Southern rail service update

Tom Edwards

Transport Correspondent, BBC London

Southern trains say they are planning to run 60% of services today.

Conductors picket at London Victoria railway station

Hundreds of RMT members walked out at 11:00 BST on Tuesday.

RMT members on strike at London Victoria

The union took this picture of striking conductors at London Victoria earlier.  

Southern rail strike comes at 'great cost' to RMT members

The RMT says it takes no pleasure in members having to walk out but the dispute is about "safety".

RMT quote

Passengers 'disappointed' strike goes ahead

BBC South East reporter Ali Fortescue is at Three Bridges railway station.

Reduced service from #threebridges passengers say they're 'disappointed' strike has gone ahead #southernrailstrike

Rail routes with no Southern train services

There are no Southern train services in either direction on the following routes:

  • Dorking to Horsham
  • Oxted to Uckfield
  • Haywards Heath to Lewes
  • Preston Park to Hove
  • Lewes to Seaford
  • Eastbourne to Ashford International
  • Chichester to Portsmouth Harbour
  • Redhill to Tonbridge
  • Redhill to Reigate
  • Earlswood, Salfords and Faygate will not have any Southern service

Rail strike starts with 'rock solid' support - RMT

The RMT says the strike has begun and there is "rock solid" support from all its members. 

A spokesman told the BBC picket lines had gone up and he claimed there was strong backing from passengers.

Southern rail facts and figures

Southern rail conductors are expected to walk out in the next few minutes in a dispute over planned changes to their role.

Here are some facts and figures about the train operator.

Southern rail facts and figures

Southern and RMT 'equally to blame'

You've been sharing your thoughts and experiences on Twitter using #southernstrike.

If you want to get in touch you can tweetemail or leave a message on our Facebook page.  

Just managed to get to my 1st appointment in town despite #southernstrike

Propaganda war between @RMTunion and @SouthernRailUK as each blames the other. Guys, we ALL blame you. Equally. #southernstrike

Train operator 'confident' over revised rail timetable

Southern rail say "many trains" have been busy with "full and standing" passengers so far this morning. 

A spokesman for the operator says at the moment they "feel confident" they will be able to run the planned revised timetable of 1,400 trains - 700 fewer than on a normal day.

They are waiting to see how many of their 470 conductors are available from 11:00 BST.

Driver-only trains 'safe way of operating' says Southern rail

Dyan Crowther, chief operating officer at Govia Thameslink Railway, tells BBC Sussex that driver-only trains are a "safe method" of working.

"Over 60% of our services already operate from a driver-only perspective. Our rail regulator, our safety regulator also says it is a safe method of operation," she adds. 

Southern train
Southern rail

"[The rail industry now has] better use of technology, our new rolling stock has in-cab CCTV that the drivers can use.

"There are an awful lot of things that have evolved over the years so we can evolve the role of our conductors."

Delays further up line reports BBC South East's Ali Fortescue

Reporter Ali Fortescue is reporting from Three Bridges railway station. 

She says trains are "on time at Three Bridges - but reports of delays further up the line in Oxted". 

Three Bridges railway station

Southern rail guards role 'being abolished'

David Winter emailed to say Southern were "abolishing guards' jobs" and not changing conductors' roles, despite the operator's claims that this is not the case. 

He writes: "They will only be allowed to sell full price tickets. They will have powers to penalty fare people without a ticket. At a time when ticket offices are being closed.

"Have you ever tried to get a discounted fare ticket from a ticket machine?"

Southern rail strike condemned by Patrick McLoughlin

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin says the conductor strike will inflict "unnecessary disruption" on passengers.

"I condemn any industrial action that will disrupt the travelling public. I expect to see operators and the unions working together to resolve these issues," he adds.

"It is clear that the changes GTR [Govia Thameslink Railway] are proposing will modernise services and provide better journeys for passengers."

RMT union says Southern rail strike is about 'safety'

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, says the dispute is about "safety and the safety-critical role of the guards" on Southern trains.

Mick Cash

"That is a lethal gamble with safety in the name of profit and that is why we have been forced to take strike action."

Operator Govia Thameslink says there will be no job losses or cuts in salary and the changes will make staff more visible.

Video: Southern rail disruption is an 'absolute pain'

Passengers have been telling BBC South East how the Southern rail dispute has been affecting their journeys.

Southern strike vox pops

'Today is not the day to travel or feel sick'

You've been having your say on social media this morning.

Many people are talking about both the rail and junior doctors' strike.

Where I have all the sympathy for #JuniorDoctorsStrike, I have none for #southernstrike…

@bbcsoutheast @RMTunion Having to struggle to get to university on the 13th May due to this, final presentation. Would be a shame to miss it

Today is not the day to travel or feel sick #trains #doctors @bbcsoutheast

Has your rail journey been affected by the expected strike?

Are you travelling in the South East this morning? Have you had to get an earlier train or change your plans because of the impending Southern rail conductor strike?

Commuter train

You can tweet and email your experiences and pictures or leave a message on our Facebook page. 

'Drivers can manage the doors' - Wealden MP Nus Ghani

The Conservative MP for Wealden, Nus Ghani, tells BBC Sussex that driver-only-operated trains are "happening on a third of the network already".

"I do not remember the last time I got on a train and there was someone to help me physically, on or off. Drivers can manage the doors," she adds.

Map of routes expected to be affected by the conductor's industrial action

Southern rail have created a map showing the level of service they expect to be able to offer passengers during the strike.

Map of Southern rail routes
Southern rail

It is colour-coded to show how badly affected they think lines will be. Red means there will be no service, yellow denotes a "significantly reduced service" and blue means reduced services.