Trains set to return to normal - for now

Normal train services are set to resume tomorrow, after two days of strikes, but with unions and rail bosses still at loggerheads the threat of further strike action over the next three weeks remains.

Normal train services are set to resume tomorrow, after two days of strikes, but with unions and rail bosses still at loggerheads the threat of further strike action over the next three weeks remains.

Train passengers faced further disruption during the second day of rail strikes today (Friday), with just a handful of services running between Norwich and London.

The pickets were out in force again at Norwich railway station in the second day of a 48-hour strike by drivers' union Aslef and the Rail Maritime Transport Union (RMT).

Rail bosses said normal services would be resumed on Saturday but warned there were set to be a few early morning cancellations because of the logistics of getting rolling stock moved to the right place.

No National Express East Anglia rural services operated around Norfolk and there were only a dozen trains between Norwich and London.

The early morning services which were set to be cancelled tomorrow included the 5.30am Norwich to Sheringham, 6.22am Sheringham to Norwich, 5.36am Norwich to Great Yarmouth, 6.17am Great Yarmouth to Norwich and the 6.08am Cambridge to Norwich.

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A National Express East Anglia spokesman said: 'Although a reduced service, the alternative timetable is continuing to run well and we have worked hard to provide the best level of service we can. We would like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience.

'Strike action is unnecessary and simply not the solution. We remain available at any time for discussions with the unions to reach a sensible, affordable and fair agreement.'

A meeting with the unions is planned on Monday and passengers will be hoping an agreement can be reached which will head off three more planned 48 hour strikes.

Further action is planned for August 6/7, August 13/14 and August 20/21.

Andy Morrison, ASLEF union organiser, said the action was about more than pay and said it was also about the breakdown of industrial relations.

He said: 'We are going to do our utmost to resolve our differences, starting with the meeting planned for Monday morning.'

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