Departure board Paddington

Industrial action to disrupt GWR rail services this Thursday

Great Western Railway is warning travellers that there will be significant disruption to its rail services on Thursday 7 December because of industrial action by drivers’ union Aslef. 

Some parts of the GWR network will have no service at all, including Bath Spa for those travelling to the Christmas market. 

Customers are advised to travel before or after Thursday. Where GWR can run services, a very limited service will operate, with a reduced frequency. It is anticipated that those trains which are running will be extremely busy. 

Trains will also start later and finish earlier, and customers are advised to check the time of last trains. It is not possible for a bus replacement service to be operated. 

There will be no trains to Bath Spa and customers travelling to the Bath Christmas Market will need to use alternative transport. 

First West of England say bus services will continue to operate in the Bath area but has warned customers that services will be busier than usual because of the strike, particularly on the D1, D2, D2x and 39/39x, and is advising travellers to allow plenty of time for their journeys. The bus operator is asking customers to please be aware that some services may be full and to be patient and polite to drivers.  

To help customers, rail tickets for strike days are valid for travel on alternative days on GWR services, as per below: 

  • Tickets from Saturday 2 December to Friday 8 December can be used the day before or up to and including Tuesday 12 December.  

Other train operators are also affected by this action, so onward travel will also be affected.  

GWR will operate a very limited service only on the following routes. Between: 

  • London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads (not calling at Bath)  
  • London and Oxford  
  • Reading and Basingstoke  
  • Reading and Redhill (peak time only)  
  • Reading and Newbury (peak time only)  
  • Westbury and Swindon (peak time only)  
  • Cardiff and Bristol Temple Meads  
  • Exeter St Davids and Barnstaple (peak time only)  
  • Exeter St Davids and Exmouth (calling at Exeter Central, Digby and Topsham only)  
  • Plymouth and Gunnislake  
  • Penzance and St Ives  
  • Due to planned engineering work the Night Riviera sleeper is cancelled 


If you intend to travel on these routes, please check before you travel. Trains that are operating will be busier than usual because GWR is not able to offer the normal service frequency. 


Industrial action short of a strike will continue up to and including Saturday 9 December and is likely to cause some short-notice alterations and cancellations.  

Customers travelling to Bath for the Christmas Market or the crunch Premiership Rugby match between Bath and Ulster on Saturday are warned that services will be extremely busy, and there will be significant queues to board trains home. You are advised to use alternative transport to these events and, if possible, visit Bath on another day. 


The Aslef union strike action on Thursday 7 December will affect GWR and CrossCountry rail services. 

The rolling programme of strike action and action short of a strike by the union is also affecting other rail operators up to and including Saturday 9 December. 

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. 

Season-ticket holders can apply for compensation through the Delay Repay scheme. Our Refund policy remains in place. If you hold a return ticket, you can claim a refund of your unused full fare, even if only one leg of your journey is affected. 

Contact Information

James Davis

Media Relations Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444