Hampshire rail users have been advised to only travel "if absolutely necessary" on Wednesday and Thursday (July 27 and 28), as rail strikes are set to take place.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 14 train operators are set to walk out.

Train companies such as South Western Railway, Southern and Cross Country, which operate in Hampshire, will be running very limited services on the main day of the strikes (Wednesday, July 27).

Services that do run will start late and finish early with lines open from around 7.30am until 6.30pm and last trains leaving considerably earlier than that. 

Passengers should also expect disruption on the morning of Thursday, July 28, with a later start to services as employees return to duties.

Basingstoke Gazette: Very limited services will be running in Hampshire on the days of the strikes (PA)Very limited services will be running in Hampshire on the days of the strikes (PA)

Separately, train drivers’ union Aslef has called strike action across seven train operators on Saturday, July 30 that will significantly disrupt some routes, so passengers are asked to check their journeys before travelling over the weekend as well. 

Network Rail Southern region managing director John Halsall said: “I’m so sorry for the disruption, and I know it comes on top of some really difficult days for passengers this summer. We have specially-trained staff preparing to come in on Wednesday to keep some lines open, but it will be a very limited service. 

“I can only thank our passengers, who have shown immense patience over this dispute and the disruption. Please do check before you travel on the 27th, paying particular attention to the times of your last trains home – they will be very early - and only travel if absolutely necessary.” 

What to do if your journey is affected by the strike?

If passengers with an advance, off-peak or anytime ticket are affected by the strike on July 27 or 30, they can use their ticket either on the day before the date on the ticket, or up to and including Tuesday, August 2.

Passengers can also change their tickets to travel on an alternate date, or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled. 

Additionally, passengers with a season ticket that is monthly or longer, or have an activated day’s worth of travel on a flexi season ticket who choose not to travel on July 27 or 30, can claim compensation for these days through the delay repay scheme. Further information is on the National Rail website.