Commuters are warned of a reduced rail service on the Weymouth-Waterloo line as four days of rail strikes on South Western Railway (SWR) lines begin today.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union is staging the action from August 30 to September 2 as part of an ongoing dispute over the role of guards on trains.

SWR says it will do 'everything possible' to keep customers moving during the four days of strike action, with available services for Weymouth and Dorchester passengers varying on each day.

Today, SWR will be running an hourly train shuttle to and from Bournemouth. Passengers can change at Bournemouth for trains (hourly service) to Southampton and London.

On Saturday, hourly fast trains will run between London Waterloo and Bournemouth and the shuttle service between Bournemouth and Weymouth will continue, however hourly 'stopper' train will also run between Southampton and Bournemouth.

On Sunday, hourly fast trains will run between London Waterloo and Weymouth as well as hourly 'stopper' trains between London Waterloo and Poole. There is no shuttle service on Sunday.

Monday's services will match Friday's schedule.

Stopping services between Bournemouth and Poole will not run on any day except Sunday. Anyone hoping to travel to these stations will need to change at Bournemouth and join the hourly train shuttle service between Bournemouth and Weymouth.

Holton Heath station will not be served on Saturday and Sunday. Passengers heading there should use local bus services or an alternative station to complete their journey.

A South Western Railway spokesman said: "During strike action, while services are likely be busier than usual, we will do everything we can to keep customers moving.

"We will be running just over half our normal timetabled service over the course of the four days and have rail replacement services and ticket acceptance in place on other transport providers wherever possible.

"We will also look for opportunities to introduce extra services each day to help keep our customers moving so recommend checking the SWR app for the latest travel information."

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