An hourly shuttle train running from Weymouth and Dorchester South to Bournemouth will help keep passengers moving during forthcoming rail strikes due to last for most of December.

It comes as calls are made for passengers to be compensated due to the anticipated disruption in the run-up to Christmas.

Operator South Western Railway has announced that during the strikes there will be a reduced service on the Weymouth-Waterloo line with an hourly train service between Weymouth and Bournemouth (calling all stations) and hourly fast trains from Bournemouth to London. The first train departs Weymouth at 6.08am and the last one departs at 10.30pm. The last train from Bournemouth to Weymouth departs Dorchester South at 11.09 pm and gets to Weymouth at 11.20pm.

This is for Monday to Fridays only up to December 20. The service at weekends and from December 23 to January 1 has yet to be confirmed.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on South Western Railway are due to strike for 27 days from December 2 after talks failed to resolve a long-running dispute over guards on trains.

The action is expected to cause huge disruption for commuters, Christmas shoppers and those travelling to be with loved ones.

Jeremy Varns, campaigns coordinator at SWR Watch, said: “The current arrangements for compensation via the Delay Repay scheme are wholly insufficient and do not reflect the inconvenience and loss of services that passengers will encounter during this month-long strike.

“We are repeating our call on the government to take a moment from the election campaign to tell passengers what measures will be in place to compensate them for the significant disruption that is expected next month.

“Passengers must not be treated as an afterthought by the train company, government or the RMT union.”

The RMT claims that the rail operators is "not interested in reaching a settlement at this time" and says it is committed to ensuring the safest possible method of operation.

South Western Railway says it has made a commitment to putting a guard on every train and this promise delivers on what the RMT has been asking for. It has called the strikes 'unnecessary'.

To see detailed timetables for strike days visit