Train operator warns of further travel disruption as strike action set to affect travel to Christmas markets and major sporting events

Train operator Great Western Railway is warning customers travelling to Christmas markets and major sporting events this coming Saturday to avoid taking the train.

Strike action by the train drivers’ union Aslef at 12 train companies, including GWR, means only an extremely reduced service will operate on a limited number of routes on Saturday 26 November. Where trains are operating, they will start later and finish earlier and the disruption will continue into Sunday 27 November.

This means that no trains will serve Bath Spa for the opening Saturday of the famous Christmas market, and there will be no trains into or out of Cardiff for Wales’ Autumn International against Australia.

Fans heading to Twickenham as England take on South Africa, for Exeter Chiefs’ Premiership Rugby Cup clash with Bath, and to Newbury for the Coral Gold Cup Day, are also being warned that there will be no GWR trains available and they will need to seek alternative ways to travel.

Customers who have already purchased tickets for strike days 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.

To help customers, tickets will be valid for travel on alternative days as follows:

  • Tickets for travel on Saturday 26 November are valid for travel on 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 November
  • Tickets for travel on Sunday 27 November are valid for travel on 28 and 29 November

Bath Christmas Market

Aslef strike action means no Great Western Railway services serving Bath Spa.

The market organisers expect roads in the city to be extra busy on the day, so plan your journey, allow time to travel and if you are coming by car use one of the three Park and Ride sites where staff will be on hand to help.

City centre car parks will also be very busy and will fill up quickly.

Customers traveling to the market by train on Sunday 27 November are warned that a queuing system will be in place for return journeys, with queues of over an hour expected at the busiest times.

Wales vs Australia – 1515 kick-off

Aslef strike action means no GWR services in to or out of Wales.

Supporters attending the Wales vs Australia Autumn International at the Principality Stadium should find alternative ways to travel.

Transport for Wales is unaffected. For more information visit

England vs South Africa – 1730 kick-off

Aslef strike action means no GWR services are scheduled to run after the match.

Rugby fans attending Twickenham for the England vs South Africa Autumn International should make alternative travel arrangements.

South Western Railway is unaffected and will operate its normal services between Reading and Twickenham.

Exeter Chiefs vs Bath – 1500 kick-off

Aslef strike action means no GWR services will operate in Devon and Cornwall.

Fans attending Exeter Chiefs’ Premiership Rugby Cup fixture with Bath are advised to find alternative ways to travel and more information is available at

Newbury Racecourse – Coral Gold Cup Day – From 1000

No GWR services will operate to Newbury Racecourse.

Racegoers should find alternative ways to travel.

On Sunday 27 November trains will continue to be disrupted. There will be some short-notice alterations and cancellations and a later start to services in the morning. Trains that are operating will be extremely busy. Please check before you travel.

For the latest information and to check your journey visit

Contact Information

John Carter

Media and Communications Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

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: