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Rail services start late despite strikes being called off

Many rail services started later than normal on Tuesday despite planned strikes being called off.

A number of operators were unable to run their first trains at the usual time due to difficulties arranging staff and rolling stock to be in the correct place.

Rail unions planned to strike on Saturday November 5, Monday November 7 and Wednesday November 9 – which would also have affected services on the following days – but called off the walkouts on Friday November 4.

Many operators ran first trains at around 7am on Tuesday, which is approximately two hours later than normal.

Avanti West Coast’s first train north from London Euston departed at 7.30am.

South Western Railway told passengers: “First services on Tuesday 8 November will be much later than usual and are likely to be very busy.

“Please avoid travelling before 8am if you can and check your journey as close to your departure time as possible.”

Northern said it was “likely” that services on Tuesday morning would be “disrupted”.

Great Western Railway told passengers “there will be a reduced level of service throughout the day”.

East Midlands Railway said there would be “a later start up and minor alterations throughout the day”.

ScotRail said it has returned to normal timetables on Tuesday, but encouraged passengers to “check their entire journey before they head to the station”.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) were set to stage walkouts in a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

But the RMT suspended the strikes, saying it had secured “unconditional” talks with Network Rail and the promise of a pay offer from the train operating companies.

The union said the dispute remains “very much live” and it is continuing its re-ballot of members to secure a fresh mandate for action with the result due on November 15.

Talks will be held over the next few weeks to try to resolve the dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

The TSSA also called off its planned strikes at five different rail companies after receiving an invitation to “intensive talks” from industry body the Rail Delivery Group.