A RAIL operator has warned racegoers not to rely on trains to travel to the Sky Bet Ebor festival.

Transpennine Express will be operating on a reduced train timetable from August 18 to 21 due to the rail strike action by RMT union, meaning normal services are going to start later and finish earlier than usual.

The operator have advised passengers to avoid travelling by train unless "absolutely necessary" as disruptions and cancellations are more likely, including those attending the Sky Bet Ebor festival this week.

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Service and Operations Director for TransPennine Express, said: "This week’s strike action by RMT will once again have a big impact on rail customers right across our network.

"We also know that lots of people normally rely on our trains to travel to big events, such as the popular Ebor Festival at York racecourse.

"Sadly, this time around, we won’t be able to support people heading to this year’s event and we are urging people to plan accordingly and find an alternative way to get to and from the races.”

The operator will be running a limited number of services from August 18 to 21 for passengers who need to travel, including the York to Manchester Piccadilly route.

Bikes will not be permitted on board the trains on Transpennine trains on these dates.