Enfield rail services hit by strikes and closures during December and January

Resolution to industrial dispute now said to be ‘further away’ while engineering works hit London Overground over Christmas

Notices at Enfield Town Station warning of London Overground closures and strikes

Major engineering weeks combined with a fresh set of strikes will wreak havoc on Enfield’s rail services over the Christmas and new year period.

The London Overground routes from both Enfield Town and Cheshunt stations will be completely closed for nine days starting on 25th December, to enable engineering works to take place on the lines around Liverpool Street Station.

These works also mean that Greater Anglia services on the line through eastern Enfield will all terminate at Tottenham Hale over the same period.

There are also closures on London Overground planned this weekend, on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December.

In addition, more rail strikes have been announced on a series of dates through December and January, starting next week. No Greater Anglia services will stop in the borough on strike days, while Great Northern and Thameslink routes running through western Enfield into Moorgate will also be severely impacted.

The long-planned engineering works starting on Christmas Day will see a new power system near Liverpool Street brought into use while multiple sets of points outside the station will be “refreshed”. The Bishopsgate tunnel through which all national rail services travel on their way to and from Liverpool Street will also be upgraded.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Work over Christmas is critical for upgrading and maintaining the railway ahead of the new year, with our teams out on track while so many of us are having fun and relaxing in our homes.

“We have a significant Christmas programme this year, particularly on the lines into Liverpool Street. I hope passengers can understand the need for the upgrades and I’d like to reassure them that we’ll be getting a huge amount done while trains aren’t running. I also want to say thank you to our lineside neighbours for bearing with us while we’re out working hard in their communities.”

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The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has this week called for fresh industrial action. Walkouts by maintenance and train operating staff will take place on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th December, Friday 16th and Saturday 17th December, from Saturday 24th until Tuesday 27th December, Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th January, plus Friday 6th and Saturday 7th January.

During the strike action, there will be a reduced service on London Overground, Great Northern and Thameslink routes, while Greater Anglia services will not be stopping at Enfield Lock, Brimsdown, Ponders End or Meridian Water stations.

No trains will travel between Finsbury Park and Moorgate on strike days, meaning Great Northern passengers travelling from Enfield stations will need to switch on to the tube. The will also be much later start times and earlier finishing times for all services, with trains not beginning until 7.30am and not running after 6.30pm. No Thameslink trains will run through central London.

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Angie Doll, Govia Thameslink Railway’s chief operating officer, said: “We’re really sorry for the enormous inconvenience this RMT action will cause to all of our customers during next week’s two 48-hour strikes. Regrettably, we are asking customers to travel only if absolutely necessary, and check service information for their local station as some routes, once again, won’t have trains at all.

“We understand how next week’s strikes and the uncertainty caused by the ensuing industrial action will be incredibly difficult for customers, particularly over the festive and new year period. We don’t want our customers to get caught out and urge you to plan ahead and make alternative travel arrangements if necessary.”

The dispute with RMT members has been ongoing for most of this year and is still no closer to being resolved. An offer by rail bosses last week would have seen an 8% pay rise over two years introduced alongside changes to working conditions, but this was rejected by RMT.

In a statement yesterday the trade union said: “The companies know that RMT cannot, and never will, accept the implementation of driver-only operation (DOO) as a national principle for operating the railways.

“It is also clear that it is the government itself insisted that DOO was inserted into the proposals as a pre-condition, and the responsibility for the failure to progress proposals towards a resolution lies solely with the government, who have torpedoed the dispute resolution process.

“The planned Industrial action for RMT train operating company members goes ahead as scheduled as there is no resolution to the dispute and in fact a resolution to the dispute is now further away due to the government’s late intervention in the negotiating process.”

Steve Montgomery, chair of the Rail Delivery Group which has been leading negotiations for train companies, said: “Regrettably, the RMT leadership’s refusal to put our proposed 8% pay offer to its membership means we are unable to reach a resolution at this stage, although we remain open to talks.

“With the deadline having passed where disruption could be avoided even if strikes were called off, our focus is on giving passengers the maximum possible certainty so they can make their festive plans.

“No-one wanted to see these strikes go ahead, and we can only apologise to passengers and to the many businesses who will be hit by this unnecessary and damaging disruption.

“We continue to urge RMT leaders to put our proposals to their members rather than condemning them to weeks of lost pay either side of Christmas during a cost-of-living crisis.”

For more information on how the strikes affect rail services:

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