Train drivers to strike over pay
Thousands of rail passengers have faced disruption after train drivers staged the first of two 24-hour strikes in a row over pay.
Aslef said the walkout was "solidly" supported by its 300 members on First TransPennine Express (FTPE), hitting routes across the North of England.
The drivers are set to strike again on Friday, causing more travel misery for passengers, including music fans going to this weekend's Leeds Festival.
The company, which runs trains between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield, Doncaster, the North East and the Lake District, operated an amended timetable on Wednesday.
The Rail Maritime and Transport union suspended its strikes, although its driver members at the company joined the industrial action.
Vernon Barker, managing director of FTPE, said a phased offer worth 5% was "fair and reasonable", adding: "I want to apologise to customers for the actions of Aslef. The deal we have offered is as good as any in the rail industry and much better than the pay rewards many members of the general public are receiving. This is the wrong decision for everyone involved.
"FTPE is a successful business and we have always worked hard to make sure colleagues have shared in that success, rewarding them throughout our franchise with above inflation pay deals."
Aslef official Nicky Whitehead accused the company of turning down a union offer to continue talks and involve the conciliation service Acas.
"I am appalled at the way that managers slammed the door shut. We felt we were making progress and offered to continue the talks. They said no. We offered to suspend the action and involve the conciliation service Acas. They said no." Mr Whitehead said the company was engaged in "brick wall style" negotiations.
Passengers were advised not to expect their normal level of service and to check the details of their journey before travelling.