Rail passengers have been reminded by Weymouth-Waterloo operator South Western Railway (SWR) to only travel if “absolutely necessary” as 2,100 members of its workforce strike.

As the weekend approaches, the company has reiterated there will be severe disruption across the network, and on strike days there will be no trains running beyond Southampton to the coast.

This comes as further nationwide Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) strikes took place yesterday and another one tomorrow, with a severely reduced service provided only on the routes that Network Rail has made available. Large parts of the SWR network will be shut down completely.

The knock-on effect of each strike means that a late starting Sunday level of service will run on both Friday (24 June) and Sunday (26 June), causing significant disruption.

SWR’s managing director Claire Mann said: “We’re sorry to have to ask our customers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary until Sunday June 26 as nationwide RMT strikes are causing major disruption on our network every day this week.

“We know that many people have planned to use our trains for leisure travel this weekend, but Saturday’s strike action means we will be running a very limited service.

“Customers who do travel on Saturday risk being stranded after the network shuts down at 6.30pm and should double check their last trains.

“We’re sorry to those whose weekend plans will be hit and thank them for their patience and understanding.”

Meanwhile, Weymouth to Bristol operator Great Western Railway (GWR) announced a ‘significantly reduced timetable’, with only 30 per cent of services able to operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm across the network on Saturday.

GWR will operate as many trains as possible but is warning people to expect severe disruption and to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary.

Visit nationalrail.co.uk for more information.