THE RMT union has announced that its planned railway strikes for this month have been suspended following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Over 40,000 railway workers were set to stage fresh strikes in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions on September 15 and 17.

In a statement following the announcement that the Queen had died, RMT Secretary-General Mick Lynch said: "RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth.

"The planned railway strike action on 15 and 17 September is suspended.

"We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country."

Buckingham Palace announced the death of Queen Elizabeth around 6:30pm this evening. 

READ MORE: Sturgeon says death of Queen a 'profoundly sad moment' for the world

In a statement, the Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Elizabeth II, 96, was the nation’s longest-reigning monarch, serving as head of state for more than 70 years.

The Prince of Wales is now King, having acceded to the throne immediately on the death of his mother.