Everything you need to know about this Saturday’s South Western Rail train strike

A one-day South Western Railway (SWR) strike will affect routes on Saturday 3 November, followed by two more 24-hour walkouts on 17 and 24 November. 

A reduced service will run on most of the South Western Railway network. Some routes will not have a train service or a replacement bus service and engineering works may also affect passenger journeys. 

Action will apply across the network and impact journeys into London terminating at Waterloo and Richmond stations; the Island Line on the Isle of Wight will operate as normal.

When are the strikes taking place?

Strike action will take place between 12.01am and 11.59pm on Saturday 3 November. 

Which services are affected?

The following routes will be affected. Details may change at the last minute as timetables are finalised, so check the South Western Railway website for up-to-date details of services.

Exeter St Davids to Yeovil Junction and to Salisbury via Yeovil Pen Mill has no train service, but rail replacement buses are available.

Virginia Water to Weybridge has no train service, but rail replacement buses are available.

Ascot to Alton has no train service, but rail replacement buses are available.

Guildford to Hinchley Wood and Leatherhead has no train service, but rail replacement buses are available.

There’s no service between Shepperton and Teddington.

There’s no service from Barnes to Whitton or Feltham.

There’s no service from Hampton Court or Thames Ditton.

Most other routes have a reduced SWR service or other train operators running services on the line. Check the South Western Railway website for full details of which trains are running.

Are there engineering works this weekend?

Yes. Planned engineering work on the South Western Railway network on 3 November means the following late night trains will also be amended:

23.45 Waterloo to Portsmouth and Southsea will end its journey at Petersfield – rail replacement buses have been arranged for travel to booked stations beyond Petersfield.

00.30 (Sunday 4 November) Eastleigh to Portsmouth & Southsea terminates at Fareham – rail replacement buses have been arranged for travel to booked stations beyond Fareham.

01.05 (Sunday 4 November) Waterloo to Southampton terminates at Woking – rail replacement buses have been arranged for travel to booked stations beyond Woking.

Can I use my ticket on other train operators?

On strike days, passengers can use their ticket on the following train operators at no extra cost:


You can use your South Western Railway ticket (including Advance tickets) on the routes below:

Bristol – Salisbury, via Warminster

Salisbury – Portsmouth Harbour/Havant, via Fareham

Yeovil Pen Mill – Salisbury via Castle Cary and Warminster.

If you’re travelling from between Crewkerne and Exeter, you can use your ticket (including Advance tickets) on GWR trains between Exeter and London Paddington via Newbury.

If you hold a daily ticket between Basingstoke and London Waterloo routed “via Woking”, you can use this on GWR trains between Basingstoke and London Paddington via Reading.


You can use your South Western Railway ticket (including Advance tickets) on CrossCountry train services between Bournemouth and Reading.


You can use your South Western Railway ticket (including Advance tickets) on Southern Rail train services between Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton Central.

Transport for London

If you have a paper Single, Return or Season ticket between rail stations on the following bus routes,  you can present it to the driver of the bus for travel in either direction at no extra charge:

– Route 65: Richmond – Kew Bridge – Brentford

– Route 111: Hampton – Hampton Court – Kingston

– Route 117: Feltham – Hounslow (Town Centre) – Isleworth

– Route 190: Richmond – North Sheen – Chiswick

– Route 216: Sunbury – Hampton – Hampton Court – Kingston

– Route 235: Feltham – Islewort – Syon Lane – Brentford

– Route 237: Hounslow (Town Centre) – Isleworth – Brentford (County Court) – Kew Bridge

– Route 281: Hounslow – Twickenham – Fulwell – Teddington – Hampton Wick – Kingston – Surbiton

– Route 290: Staines – Sunbury – Fulwell – Twickenham

– Route 411: Hampton Court – Kingston

– Route E8: Hounslow – Isleworth – Brentford

– Route K2: Berrylands – Surbiton

– Route K3: Surbiton – Kingston – Norbiton (3, 10, 17, 24 November only)

– Route K4: Surbiton – Kingston – Norbiton (3, 10, 17, 24 November only)

If you use a Pay As You Go Oyster card you’ll need to pay the appropriate bus fare.

Are any rail replacement bus services available?

Yes. Check the South Western Railway website for more information. 

Can I get compensation for disruptions to my journey?

If you travel on a strike day and experience delays of 15 minutes or more to your journey, you are eligible to compensation. Find out more here. 

If your train is cancelled or delayed and you have an off-peak, super off-peak, advance or anytime ticket and decide not to travel, SWR states that passengers will be entitled to a full refund.

Can I start my journey at a different station to that on my ticket?

If you hold a monthly or longer season ticket, SWR maintains that your ticket may be used from/to another station on the same line of route as the original ticket. This only applies to SWR services.

Why are staff striking?

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are taking industrial action over a dispute regarding the future of guards on trains.

The RMT maintains that guards are essential in ensuring passenger safety and in case of emergencies such as derailment, evacuation, fires and driver incapacity. Guards can also offer advice and assistance to passengers and help disabled passengers to embark and disembark.

In a statement published on their website, the RMT said it was “angry and frustrated that South Western Railway have failed to respond seriously to a union call for talks around the guard guarantee on their trains”.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, said: “South Western Railway seem to think they can treat the union and their staff with utter contempt. They need to change that attitude, get serious and put a team in place that can talk with us with authority on the safety, security and access issues at the heart of this dispute.”

SWR said in a statement: “The RMT has again decided to needlessly disrupt our customers and colleagues with more strikes over the next two months.

“The union has cynically chosen dates with the aim of targeting hard-working commuters, families enjoying the half-term holiday and sports fans to cause as much misery as possible. We will be doing everything we can to minimise this disruption.

“Our plans mean more guards, not fewer and we have guaranteed a guard with safety critical competencies to be rostered on all of our services. 

“Should the RMT proceed with these damaging strikes, we will do everything possible to provide as many services as we can.”

For more information, click here for updates on the South Western Railway website. 

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