RAILWAY lines across Renfrewshire are at a standstill today with all services cancelled due to strike action.

Workers at Network Rail, who are responsible for train lines and infrastructure, have staged the first in a series of walkouts, with further action planned for Thursday and Saturday.

It means all ScotRail services across the country have been scrapped, with the exception of some trains operating on five routes between Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Edinburgh.

There has been major disruption across the UK as the RMT union takes industrial action over a pay dispute with Network Rail and some Department of Transport rail operating companies.

Gordon Martin, RMT regional organiser for Scotland, said strike action is a “last resort” for members.

“It’s a fight that we didn’t want,” he said. “This is a defensive measure by our members, in defence of their jobs, their terms and conditions and, I would argue, the safety of the rail industry.”

However, Network Rail has said a modernised railway is needed so savings can be made and staff can be offered an acceptable pay deal.

A spokesman added: “The dispute is not going to be solved through strike action. It’s not going to be solved on a picket line. It’s going to be solved by negotiations in a room.

“We feel that there are clear ways in which we could modernise and change the way we currently operate and that would then enable us to free up savings that we could then use to fund a pay rise.”

Although the dispute does not involve ScotRail employees, it has a major impact on the train operator’s ability to provide services in Renfrewshire, as these cannot be run safely if Network Rail staff are on strike.

ScotRail has also warned customers that services will face “significant disruption” on the days following strike action, as Network Rail signal boxes are reopened at different times throughout the day.

Passengers are advised to check their journey in advance.

David Simpson, ScotRail’s service delivery director, said: “Regrettably, the disruption caused by the RMT Network Rail strike action extends to the days following strike action as well.”

For more information, visit scotrail.co.uk.