Passengers are warned there will be no rail services to and from Dorset this Friday and Saturday due to strike action.

Nationwide strike action by members of the ASLEF and RMT unions will severely affect travel on both the South Western Railway (Weymouth-Waterloo) and Great Western Railway (Weymouth-Bristol) network over the two days.

On SWR, there will be an “extremely limited service” operating on a small number of lines on Friday and trains will not not run beyond Basingstoke from London.

SWR says a significantly reduced service will operate the following day - with trains only running from London to Southampton.

Customers are advised to only travel if absolutely necessary on both days.

Friday will be the first day of the ASLEF union strike action that affects main line drivers. Previous ASLEF union strike dates were limited to depot drivers, who bring trains in and out of service.

With far fewer main line drivers available, the rail operators will operate a much different timetable to previous strike days.

An RMT union strike then takes place on Saturday. Whilst more of the network will be open than on Friday, overall there will be a significantly reduced service and trains will only run between 7am and 7pm.

Meanwhile on GWR, there will be no trains to and from Weymouth on the Yeovil-Westbury-Bristol line on both Friday and Saturday.

Stuart Meek, South Western Railway’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This is the first time our network has been subject to full strike action by members of the ASLEF Union and, as a result, we are only able to offer an extremely limited service on Friday 1 September.

“Friday 1 September will be different to previous days of strike action with a lot fewer trains running and with the majority of the network closed. Our advice to customers is to not travel unless your journey is absolutely necessary. The few services we will be running are likely to be extremely busy and we may have to use queuing systems and crowd control measures.

“A significantly reduced service will operate the following day.

“If customers must travel on either day, they should check their entire journey before travelling, with other operators also impacted by strike action. We’re really sorry for the disruption.”