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Trains and when to minimise disruption

For some years now, railway engineering works has taken place during holidays. To quote a BBC report from August 2009:

It [ATOC: the Association of Train Operating Companies] says that work is scheduled for bank holiday weekends because fewer people use the network then.

Compare this with the unions’ plans for the forthcoming rail strike (April 2010) as reported in a BBC report of March 2010:

There were fears that the strike would be called over Easter, but the unions said they deliberately avoided this in order not to disrupt the public over the bank holiday.

I wonder who’s right? I suppose it all comes down to politics: there’s something strange about the timing and apparent suddenness of this strike anyway. Disruption during holidays will affect fewer people although you’ll spoil more people’s fun; disruption during the working week will affect more people (they’re still the public even if they’re going to work) although they might arguably be more grateful to have a good excuse to have a gratis day off work, if their employer thinks that is the way to go, and can still take their children to London Zoo in between Easter eggs over the bank holiday. I fear my employer, who is generally good in these situations, might say that I have to take any working days while the strike is on as annual leave or climb on the roof of the one train running in the morning. Maybe I should go on strike for more annual leave.