Govia Thameslink Railway has issued proceedings at the High Court to seek an injunction enabling the operation of its new 12-car Gatwick Express trains.
Its move follows the refusal of ASLEF union members to drive the first two services that they were due to operate.
The driver of the first one refused to open the doors to let passengers on board, because the train is two carriages longer than the one it replaces.
Instead he drove an empty 0530 service from Victoria to Gatwick on April 9, kept the doors closed and returned empty again. The company said 30 passengers heading for the airport were left on the platform at Victoria station.
ASLEF opposes the use of Driver Only Operation (DOO) on the new 12-car Class 387/2 Gatwick Express trains, and has announced a ballot for industrial action.
A GTR spokesman said: “We launch legal action very reluctantly, but we have been left with no choice because of the position adopted by the ASLEF union.
“We will take any reasonable steps we can to defend the interest of our customers and maintain the Gatwick Express service with the new 12-car trains.”
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