Rail chaos: Southern drivers end 18-month strike

Tens of thousands of rail passengers will again face disruption on Tuesday as staff at the State-owned transport company stage a second 24-hour strike as part of a campaign for a pay increase. File

The November 14th strike date will clash with the Ireland v Denmark World Cup play-off at Lansdowne Road.

NBRU General-Secretary Dermot O'Leary said while the talks are "a potential step forward", he added: "It should be borne in mind that the intransigence displayed by Irish Rail management, led it should be said the CEO, together with tacit support from the Department of Transport, will make an overall resolution to this dispute more hard than it might otherwise have been".

The action will continue tomorrow on both South Western and Southern.

Drivers working for Southern Railways have voted by four-to-one to end the long-running dispute over staffing and working practices.

He said money should first be spent on safety, increasing line speed and buying more carriages to improve the service and respond to climate change. Some workers believe safety procedures would be compromised.

The letter said: 'I remain concerned that in the event of a train evacuation, derailment or incapacitated driver, the absence of a guard to assist could leave passengers at risk.

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At Britain's busiest station, London Waterloo, "contingency guards" working for the train operator were operating some trains.

The train firm, which took over South West Trains in the Summer, says the industrial action is unnecessary.

The last two deals negotiated by ASLEF's leadership have been rejected by members, but a third deal has been approved by 79.1 per cent in favour, on a turnout of 87.1 per cent. However, rail companies are keeping passengers moving with the large majority of services running as planned. We have been very clear that we are guaranteeing the jobs, salaries and terms and conditions of Guards.

Irish Rail, which is already under deep financial strain, is set to lose about 1.5 million euro (£1.3 million) if staff push through with plans for another three days of stoppages. "The independent rail regulator has said driver-controlled trains, which have been used in this country for more than 30 years, are safe", the spokesman added.

Labour has told the five rail operators that the party will halt any future plans to extend driver-only operations if it wins the next general election.

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