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Travel chaos reported as hundreds of trains cancelled across south England

Staff Writer |
British rail passengers faced the first of three days of chaos on Friday as 600 trains were cancelled, causing major disruption across the south England.

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The South Western Railway (SWR) cancellations are expected to affect 300,000 passengers travelling between London and Devon, a county in southwest England. The network also warned of strike action in the autumn and winter as a row over driver-only trains continued.

On Saturday, 750 trains, or half of the overall service, are expected to be cancelled, with 600 more services axed on Sunday. More walkouts are expected for Saturdays Sept. 8 and Sept. 15.

A British trade union, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), said that driver-only trains are unsafe -- claims denied by rail industry chiefs who highlight their use in other parts of Britain.

SWR and RMT unions remain at loggerheads with no new talks planned. "We are working to minimize disruption," a SWR spokesman said.

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