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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 December 2006, 10:43 GMT
Passengers hit by railway strike
Central Trains
A dispute over rotas and pay has led to the strikes
Thousands of rail passengers in the Midlands are being forced to change their travel plans because of another strike by conductors on Central Trains.

The 48-hour walkout over bonus pay and rotas began at midnight and continues throughout New Year's Day.

However, there is a reduced service running in some areas.

The worst affected routes are in the West and East Midlands, but lines to Norwich, Cardiff, Cleethorpes and Manchester are also affected.

Tickets bought for travel on Central Trains can be used on Virgin Trains, One Railways, Midland Metro and Local Bus services during the strike period.

STRIKE DAY SERVICES
Both Days
Lichfield-Redditch
Stourbridge - Birmingham Snow Hill - Shirley
Derby-Nottingham
Derby-Crewe
Nottingham - Lincoln
Nottingham - Sheffield
Cambridge to Stansted Airport
New Year's Day only
Stourbridge Town - Stourbridge Junction
Wolverhampton - Birmingham
Nottingham - Worksop

They are also valid on Tuesday 2 January 2007 when full services are expected to resume.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said it expected solid support from 550 of its members and very few services would actually run over the two-day period. An earlier strike last week on Christmas Eve closed the entire Central network.

Central Trains bosses have accused the RMT of rejecting a plan that would have allowed services to run as normal.

It said senior conductors would have earned about £600 each if they had worked the three strike days.

Many routes closed

Andy Thomas, Central Trains' operations director, said they would be operating services on popular routes where there were limited alternatives.

"I am pleased that we are able to provide a good level of service to passengers on both of the strike days over New Year," he said.

"We have worked hard to plan services which will help local people to complete their travel plans."

NATIONAL RAIL ENQUIRIES
08457 484950

However, much of the network is shut off, with cross country services from the east of England hit hard.

There are no plans to run any trains in Leicestershire, Shropshire and Warwickshire, with many other local routes closed.

Passengers are being urged to contact national rail inquiries on 08457 484950 or check the Central Trains website before travelling.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow had earlier said the rail firm had "turned down the opportunity to put in place a plan that would have allowed services to run".


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
How the strike will affect rail passengers



SEE ALSO
Trains to run in New Year strike
28 Dec 06 |  England
Strike action hits rail services
25 Dec 06 |  England
Festive train strikes announced
20 Dec 06 |  Nottinghamshire

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