The RMT union has claimed that the response from its members to the first day of a 48-hour strike of Southern conductors has been 'rock solid', but Southern said two-thirds of its trains had run yesterday. Services are being disrupted for a second day by a dispute over proposed extensions to driver-only operation, which Southern's owner Govia Thameslink Railway says will mean a better service for passengers. The operator has also denied union allegations that safety would be put at risk by putting door control in the hands of drivers, and has accused the RMT of 'scaremongering'.
Tributes paid to c2c driver who died in cab
Tributes have been paid to a c2c driver who died in his cab last night from a suspected heart attack. Steve Jones, 56, had been driving the 20.13 from Grays to Barking, but the train came to an emergency halt as it approached Barking at about 20.30. Signallers were immediately alerted and tried to contact Mr Jones without success, but paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Strike by RMT disrupts Southern services
Many Southern routes have no services today as members of the RMT stage the first of a two-day strike in protest at plans to extend driver-only operation. The RMT has set out what it described as the 'core points' in the dispute: 'the removal of conductors from trains, safety under threat and the company putting profit before safety'. However, Southern said the strikes were 'completely unnecessary and damaging', and denied that safety was at risk. The walkout is set to continue tomorrow, and further strikes have been called next month.
High Court intervenes in Gatwick DOO dispute
A High Court judge has ordered ASLEF not to 'induce' refusals by Gatwick Express drivers to operate 12-car trains. Govia Thameslink Railway said it was 'pleased' at the ruling, but ASLEF is balloting its members on Gatwick Express and Southern, which is also operated by GTR, while Southern services are also set to be disrupted by a separate conductors' strike from tomorrow.
Injunction bid over 12-car Gatwick trains
Govia Thameslink Railway has launched a High Court action seeking an injunction allowing the operation of 12-car trains on Gatwick Express. The legal move follows the refusal of ASLEF members to drive the first two Class 387 services that had been due to operate in 12-car formation over the past ten days, claiming that they could not see the doors properly.
'Signaller's error' caused Plymouth accident
A mistake by a signaller is thought to be the cause of a collision between two trains in a platform at Plymouth earlier this month in which around 35 people were hurt. The accident, on 3 April, occurred when a four-car unit arriving from Penzance at 15.30 collided at about 15mph (24km/h) with a stationary London-bound intercity train which was already partly occupying the same platform.
Repeated attacks by rail cable thieves trigger appeal
A spate of attacks on railway cables in the Nottingham area has prompted an appeal for information from British Transport Police and other industry bodies. The damage caused by attempts to steal cable has disrupted 331 passenger and 27 freight or engineering trains, some of which had to be cancelled while others ran late, with the total of disruption minutes standing at 2,654, or more than 44 hours. The cost to the industry has been put at almost £120,000.