Robin Gisby, director of operations and customer services, said: “Passengers want more trains - starting earlier and running later - with fewer buses and more trains at weekends. To achieve this Network Rail needs to change the way the railway works. We want proper discussions with the unions’ leadership about implementing changes. Negotiations, not strikes are the way forward.
“This proposed strike is not about safety. Britain’s railway is safer than ever. The issue of safety is a smokescreen from a union leadership stuck in the steam age.
“Our contingency plans are well advanced and aim to keep as many trains running as possible. But a national rail strike will have a severe impact on services and on Britain.”