THOUSANDS of Hampshire passengers face disruption this week as railway workers are set to strike for four days.

Running from today until next Monday, the action has been called by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

The row focuses on the role of guards with the union wanting the South Western Railway (SWR) to guarantee guards on board all of its trains.

Thousands of commuters as well as weekend leisure travellers are expected to be affected.

RMT has told all guards and drivers working for SWR to walk out between today and Monday 2 September – four days in total.

SWR runs trains from London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest train station, to destinations across Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire.

SWR says it will run around half of its scheduled services and will run rail replacement services “wherever possible”. Tickets may also be accepted on other operators.

The strike is the latest in a series for SWR. There were previous strikes last Christmas, as well as in February and March and during the busy Royal Ascot period in June.

Some routes will not have a train service or a replacement bus service, says SWR, and timetables could change at the last minute.

In Hampshire, a reduced service will run on the Brockenhurst to Lymington pier line and only one train will run every two hours between Southampton Central and Fratton.

On Sunday, hourly train serviceS will run between Southampton and Portsmouth and Southsea.

However, there will be no trains between Salisbury and Romsey via Southampton.

Trains will run hourly between Portsmouth and Basingstoke on Friday and Monday.

On Saturday 31 August, trains will run hourly between Portsmouth and Winchester only.

There will be two trains an hour between Portsmouth and Waterloo.

The Island Line on the Isle of Wight is unaffected.

SWR advises passengers to check its website for updated information on the strike.

Some tickets will be accepted on Cross Country, Southern and Great Western Railway routes as well as on London buses and London Underground.

According to SWR services are likely to be busier than usual and it will be running “just over half” its normal timetabled service.