MILLIONS of commuters have been hit by cancelled trains as Britain's week of travel hell begins.
Axed services have left many struggling to get into work with "shortage of train crew" among the reasons given.
And many train companies are running emergency timetables today, warning people to only travel if necessary.
It comes ahead of Britain's biggest rail strike for 30 years in which 40,000 workers will walk out over job cuts, pay and conditions from tomorrow.
Last minute talks between the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union and rail bosses are unexpectedly continuing this morning.
But Treasury chief secretary Simon Clarke said today it is likely the rail strike will go ahead and insisted it is not up to the Government to resolve the dispute.
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And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said yesterday the strike will be disastrous for passengers, adding: "It is no way to behave on the railway. There is no advantage to this."
The strike has been designed to cause maxi
Union boss Mike Lynch has previously said he will run the campaign for as long as it takes to get a settlement, potentially creating havoc for more than six months.
Meanwhile, teachers, binmen and posties have threatened to join the walkout – causing chaos unseen since the 1970s.
A reduced timetable this week will operate just 20 per cent of train services on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
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And a map of misery has illustrated how just half of the country's network will be open.
Network Rail said that no passenger services will serve locations such as Penzance in Cornwall, Bournemouth in Dorset, Swansea in South Wales, Holyhead in North Wales, Chester in Cheshire and Blackpool, Lancashire.
There will also be no passenger trains running north from Glasgow or Edinburgh.
And the last train from Edinburgh to London on the East Coast Main Line will stop running at lunchtime at 1.30pm.
Mr Lynch, who said workers have been "robbed of wages", told Sky News yesterday:
He said they want a seven per cent pay rise.
The average salary of a train driver is £54,000 per year – a seven per cent rise on that would see them raking in £57,780.
The strike is set to cause chaos for millions, from workers to holidaymakers and parents.
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