SOUTH Western Railway workers begin a 27-day strike today.

It comes after talks between the Rail, Maritime and Transport union and South Western Railway over a long-running dispute over guards on trains broke down.

The strike takes place between December 2 and January 2.

Industrial action will not take place on December 12, which is the day of the general election.

It will then resume on December 13 and run until Christmas Eve.

South Western Railway said a reduced service will run on the network Monday to Friday from Monday 2 December until Friday 20 December.

During this time, some routes will not have a train service or a replacement bus service and services will finish earlier than normal at around 11pm.

A spokesperson said: "Peak services will be much busier than normal and we may have to introduce queuing at a number of our busiest stations. Please check your journey before travelling and allow extra time to complete your journey."

The company said the week beginning on December 23 is likely to have a different timetable with services finishing earlier.

No trains will run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The strike action will resume just after midnight on December 27 and run until just before midnight on January 1.