Reading flyover

GWR reminds Reading Festival goers that there will be no trains home on Saturday night as strike action returns

Strike action by the RMT will affect GWR services and other train operators across the country this Saturday 26 August, and those travelling should check their journeys, GWR warns.

On the day a reduced, revised timetable will operate across several train operators, including GWR. Many parts of the GWR network will have no service at all. Services will start later, finish much earlier and only operate for a limited period during the day.

Those travelling to/from the Reading Festival should note that there will be no late-night return services on Saturday evening for those not camping.

If you intend to travel where trains are running, please check before you travel. Trains that are operating will be busier than usual because GWR will not be able to offer the normal service frequency. Other train operators are also affected by this action, so onward travel could also be affected.

Customers who purchased tickets but do not travel can claim a full refund or amend their ticket. Those who travel and are delayed may be entitled to  Delay Repay compensation if they are delayed by 15 minutes or more.

Further industrial action is planned for Friday 1 and Saturday 2 September. To help customers, tickets for strike days will be valid for travel on alternative days on GWR services, as per below:

  • Tickets for Saturday 26 August can be used the day before or up to and including Tuesday 29 August
  • Tickets for Friday 1 September can be used the day before or up to and including Tuesday 5 September
  • Tickets for Saturday 2 September can be used on Thursday 31 August or up to and including Tuesday 5 September

Online journey planners have been updated and can be checked here.

On Friday 25 and Sunday 27 August a near normal level of services is planned to operate, with some alterations and cancellations. Please check your journey in advance.

How can I travel to the Reading Festival?

Nearly 50 trains an hour serve Reading station on weekdays, more than 30 on the Bank Holiday Monday, as well as extra late-night/early-morning trains being laid on for those not camping.

However, services are expected to be extremely busy for the return journey on Monday 28 August and a queuing system will be in place.

Festival goers are being reminded to only bring what you can carry to allow space for other passengers and to book in advance to reserve their seat.

GWR Reading Station Manager Kevin King explains:

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming people to Reading Station for the world-famous festival. To try to keep everyone as safe as possible, please allow extra time for your journey home as a queuing system will be in operation on Monday and remember that, unfortunately, we are not able to provide any trains home on Saturday evening.

“To help you board safely and allow space for others, please do not bring excessive amounts of luggage.”

To avoid disappointment when arriving at the stations travellers should:

  • Reserve a seat with your ticket at or through the GWR app
  • Allow extra time (especially if you have a booked ticket) because trains from Reading home will be extremely busy
  • Be prepared to wait: A queueing system will be in place at stations to help people board their reserved train
  • Remember your Railcard
  • Charge your phone if you have an electronic ticket

Contact Information

James Davis

Media Relations Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

Notes to editors

Notes to editors:

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: