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Train strike makes the going rough on Grand National day

RAIL passengers across the country are facing more severe disruption following the announcement of a strike on Grand National day.

About 2,000 staff at Southern, Merseyrail and Arriva Trains North will hold a 24-hour walk out on Saturday April 8, the RMT union confirmed.

More than a million passenger journeys were hit in a similar co-ordinated strike by workers from the three rail companies earlier this month in a row over plans to introduce driver-only trains.

The action is expected to affect fewer people this time because it is on a Saturday. However, it will cause chaos for the majority of the 70,000 spectators who had been expected to use Merseyrail to get to Liverpool’s Aintree racecourse for the final day of the meeting.

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail’s managing director, said: ‘As we predicted, the RMT has sunk to a new low by inflicting strikes on the Grand National.’

Punters used social media to express their fury.

Siobhan Carter, 24, said: ‘That’s me stuffed then? How am I getting to the track from Manchester now?!’

RMT boss Mick Cash recognised the ‘severe impact’ of the action but accused Merseyrail of ‘wrecking’ talks by failing to consider any form of compromise.