RAIL travellers are being warned to expect significant disruption as strike action by RMT members of Network Rail gets under way this week.

State run Scotrail has said a limited number of services will run on the first of three planned stoppages.

Network Rail strike action will take place on Wednesday, 27 July, Thursday, 18 August, and Saturday, 20 August.

Read more: Rangers games hit as Glasgow subway strike dates revealed

A very limited number of services will operate on just five ScotRail routes in the central belt, with no service on all other routes.

The RMT union announced three days of strike action across the Great Britain railway network resulting from a pay dispute with Network Rail.

HeraldScotland: Train services will be hit across Scotland on July 27 and also in AugustTrain services will be hit across Scotland on July 27 and also in August

This dispute does not involve ScotRail staff, however, it will have a major knock-on effect on the train operator’s ability to provide services as the RMT planned action will involve Network Rail staff in Scotland.

Many of the Network Rail staff that are due to take part in the planned industrial action occupy safety-critical roles and, as such, it will not be possible for ScotRail to run the vast majority of services.

Scotrail said there will be no service on all but five ScotRail routes in the central belt and they are warning that on the routes where a service will operate, customers should only travel if they really need to and should consider alternative options where possible.

The railway will only be operational between 7.30am and 6.30pm on 27 July, 18 August, and 20 August. The below services will run on these days:

  • Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High: two trains per hour
  • Edinburgh – Bathgate: two trains per hour
  • Glasgow – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour
  • Glasgow – Lanark: two trains per hour
  • Edinburgh – Glasgow via Shotts: one train per hour

Customers are being urged to plan ahead as final services will depart well before 6.30pm and services will also be affected before and after the planned strike dates.

Scotrail said due to the greater reliance on manual signalling outside the central belt, Network Rail is unable to facilitate passenger services on any other routes on the strike days.

Disruption to ScotRail services will not be confined to the days of strike action themselves but will also affect the day before, Tuesday, 26 July, and the days following them – Thursday, 28 July, Friday, 19 August, and Sunday, 21 August.

On Tuesday, 26 July, there will be a small number of trains cancelled. This is to allow trains to be moved into the right position, as on most routes, trains cannot be moved again until 07.15 on Thursday, 28 July.

Scotrail says by taking action on the Tuesday evening, it will help to ensure that as many passenger trains can operate on Thursday morning.

On the days following strike action, there will be disruption caused by the reopening of signal boxes at different times across the country.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “It is very unfortunate to see such widespread disruption across the whole of the Great Britain rail network and we know this will be frustrating for ScotRail customers.

“Regrettably, this strike action by RMT members of Network Rail means that we will not be able to operate the vast majority of our services during the period of strike action. Customers should expect significant disruption to services on strike days, as well as the following day.

“On the five routes where we are able to operate a very limited service on strike days, we’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to.”