There are no trains running through west Wales today, Thursday June 23, due to national industrial action.

Thousands of railway workers are staging their second strike of the week after talks failed to resolve a bitter row over pay, jobs and conditions.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 13 train operators will take industrial action, crippling services across the UK.

There will be no trains west of Cardiff or north of Merthyr Tydfil. 

A statement from Transport for Wales said: "We’re advising customers not to travel by train on 23 and 25 June, with the majority of our rail services suspended as a result of industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail.

"Due to the wider disruption caused, we’re also advising customers to only travel by rail if essential for 24 and 26 June.

"We'll be running a full service again on the 27 June, although we expect it to be busy.

"TfW is not in dispute with RMT, but the industrial action means we’re unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure."

Western Telegraph: The deserted scene at Haverfordwest train station.The deserted scene at Haverfordwest train station.

Ahead of the strike, the Government announced plans to change the law to enable businesses to supply skilled agency workers to plug staffing gaps during industrial action.

Ministers pointed out that under current trade union laws, employment businesses are restricted from supplying temporary agency workers to cover for strikers, saying it can have a “disproportionate impact”.

The legislation will repeal the “burdensome” legal restrictions, giving businesses impacted by strike action the freedom to tap into the services of employment businesses who can provide skilled, temporary agency staff at short notice, said the government.

Network Rail welcomed the move but Labour and unions condemned it as a “recipe for disaster.”

The RMT accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of “wrecking” negotiations.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Grant Shapps has wrecked these negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw their letter threatening redundancy for 2,900 of our members.

“Until the Government unshackle Network Rail and the train operating companies, it is not going to be possible for a negotiated settlement to be agreed.

Western Telegraph: RMT general secretary Mick Lynch on a picket line. (PA)RMT general secretary Mick Lynch on a picket line. (PA)

“We will continue with our industrial campaign until we get a negotiated settlement that delivers job security and a pay rise for our members that deals with the escalating cost-of-living crisis.”

Mr Shapps hit back, saying the RMT claim was a “lie”.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the RMT have again chosen to walk away from negotiations without agreeing a deal. We remain available for talks – day or night – and will do everything we can to avoid further disruption for our passengers.

“As a result of this needless and premature strike, rail services will look much like they did on Tuesday – starting later in the morning and finishing much earlier in the evening (around 6.30pm).

“We are asking passengers to please check before you travel, be conscious of when your last available train is departing, and only travel by train if necessary.”