MORE THAN half of South Western Railway’s services will run over the course of December, according to the company.

SWR have released details about how their services are going to cope when members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union go on strike next month.

To try and keep trains moving during the busy Christmas run-up period, SWR have announced they expect to run more than half of their normal Monday to Friday services, “prioritising capacity during peak period”.

Services will finish at around 11pm.

There will be no SWR service on the Basingstoke to Reading and Bristol Temple Meads to Southampton Central route, whilst the rest of the network will run a reduced service.

One train per hour, as well as additional peak services, will run between Salisbury and London Waterloo via Basingstoke on weekdays.

The London - Basingstoke stopping service will operate one train per hour, as well as additional services during peak periods.

Meanwhile, hourly fast trains will run between Weymouth and London Waterloo, with additional peak trains.

The plans relate to the weekday service between December 2 and 20 - the weekend service is still being planned.

Christmas week is likely to have a different timetable, and there will be no service as usual on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Members will walk out on 27 days over December as part of a long-running dispute into the role of guards on trains.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash has called for SWR to be stripped of its franchise, saying: “This latest fiasco over the introduction of driver controlled fleet reinforces everything that RMT has been fighting for in the dispute over the safety critical role of the guard as we prepare for a further month of industrial action.”

However, SWR’s managing director Andy Mellors has labelled the strikes as “unnecessary”, saying that they have promised “that there will always be a guard on our trains”.