AVANTI West Coast has confirmed that Runcorn Station will be closed during the upcoming train strikes.

Due to the different signalling systems in use on some parts of the West Coast Main Line,which is more resource-intensive to operate, the intercity operator is unable to stop trains at certain stations – including Runcorn.

Other stations that will not open on strike days, June 21, 23 and 25, include Stoke-on-Trent and Stockport.

The rail company is strongly advising customers to only travel if ‘absolutely necessary’ on strike days as it prepares to operate a significantly reduced timetable.

On strike days the intercity operator is running approximately 25 per cent of its typical weekday timetable on Tuesday, June 21 and Thursday, June, 23 and around a third of its typical Saturday timetable on June 25.

This is as part of the industry’s response to coordinated industrial action by the RMT union across train operators and Network Rail on those dates.

With fewer services running, trains are expected to be very busy, and customers are being strongly advised to only travel if absolutely necessary on a strike day.

Customers are being advised to expect severe disruption and plan ahead if they do travel.

The day after industrial action is also likely to be affected.

As part of its contingency plans, Avanti West Coast expects to run one train per hour from Euston to each of Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Preston with a limited service to Glasgow.

These trains will operate during limited hours – with the first train of the day departing Euston just before 8am and the last train of the day from Euston departing mid-afternoon.

The significantly reduced timetable will mean North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh have no Avanti West Coast services on strike days.

Customers who need to travel on strike days are advised to plan ahead, make a reservation when they are available and check the Avanti West Coast website and those of other train operators, before travelling.

Customers with tickets for travel from Tuesday, June 21, to Sunday, June 26, can use those tickets anytime between now and Monday, June 27.

Alternatively, a full refund can be claimed with no admin fees if you have tickets for Tuesday, June 21, to Sunday, June 26.

Managing director of Avanti West Coast, Phil Whittingham, said: “We are disappointed with the decision to go on strike, which we believe is premature and will cause untold misery for customers.

“We would urge the RMT not to press ahead with industrial action and to work with us on securing the long-term future for the rail service.

“We’ll be running an amended timetable on strike days with fully-trained staff onboard and at stations across our network for our customers, but we’ll be operating a significantly reduced service.

"As a result, our trains may be very busy and destinations will be served less frequently, if at all.

“We’re strongly advising customers to only travel where absolutely necessary on our route on strike days and instead make their journeys on alternative days or claim a full refund.

“We understand some people will have no choice but to travel and they should check our website for the latest updates before travelling.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our customers in advance for their patience.”