Fringe Box



More Woe for Rail Passengers on the Portsmouth Line This Weekend

Published on: 21 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 21 Aug, 2023

South Western Railway (SWR) has confirmed that it will not operate trains to or from Portsmouth on Saturday 26 August due to RMT strike action.

A significantly reduced service will operate across the SWR network with many lines closed and trains only running between 0700 and 1900. As on previous RMT strike days, there will be no services on the lines between Woking and Portsmouth Harbour via Guildford.

See also: Lib Dems Warn of Possible £400 Hike to Commuting Cost

Customers looking to use SWR services to travel to events are advised to make alternative travel arrangements. This includes the Victorious Festival and the Stevenage v Portsmouth football match, as away fans will not be able to get a train service from Portsmouth towards London.

There will be no SWR services from Portsmouth Harbour, however, the station will be open for people wishing to take the Wightlink ferry to Ryde. A normal service will operate on the Island Line.

Journey planners are now up to date for Saturday 26 August and the latest information will be available at

The ASLEF union has announced strike action on Friday 1 September and a ban on overtime working on top of the RMT union’s strike action on Saturday 2 September. Customers are once again advised to check the SWR website for the latest information.

Stuart Meek, Chief Operating Officer at South Western Railway, commented:  “We’re sorry that customers will once again face disruption due to strike action by the RMT union.

“As on previous RMT strike days, South Western Railway is unable to serve the two routes to Portsmouth, which will affect a number of events on Saturday 26 August. If you are attending these events, you will need to make alternative travel arrangements.

“Once again, we’re sorry for the disruption, and thankful for our customers’ patience during these latest RMT strikes.”

Mick Lynch RMT

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch told Sky News: “The mood among our members remains solid and determined in our national dispute over pay job security and working conditions.

“We have had to call further strike action as we have received no improved or revised offer from the Rail Delivery Group.

“The reason for this is the government has not allowed them a fresh mandate on which discussions could be held.

And Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan is reported to have said he had come under pressure from members to intensify the union’s campaign of industrial action, which has lasted more than a year.

“The longer it goes on without any contact from the government or any of the employers to resolve the situation, we may have to go harder and faster to make our voice heard,” he said.

Aslef is demanding a significantly higher pay deal than the latest put forward by train operators, particularly as its members have not had a wage rise since 2019. Whelan added that the union could consider a permanent ban on overtime work, which would cause systemic disruption and probably force permanent timetable changes.


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