Virgin Trains advice for Evertonians

25/03/2016  16 Comments  [Jump to last]

Evertonians planning to use the train to travel to Wembley for next month's Emirates FA Cup semi-final are being advised by Virgin Trains to check before they travel.

The advice from the operator of the West Coast Main Line service is that there will be no trains returning to Liverpool from London Euston after the semi-final clash against either West Ham or Manchester United on Saturday April 23.

The 5:15pm kick-off for the fixture means fans will not be able to board the last return train back to Liverpool on that date — and planned Network Rail essential maintenance prevents Virgin Trains providing additional services.

On what is already a busy weekend, with the London Marathon taking place the following day, direct train services to Liverpool will not be operational until the Sunday morning. Virgin Trains advise that, as of Friday March 25, there is good availability on the first train at 8:15am and also the 9:15am, 10:15am, 11:15am and 12:15pm departures from Euston to Liverpool Lime Street.

"The combination of the later kick-off time, the uncertainty of when the match will finish and Network Rail's essential maintenance work on the West Coast Main Line that has been months in the planning means we are unfortunately unable to run any trains back to the North West on the Saturday evening," explained Virgin Trains General Manager, Gary Iddon.

"We know this is extremely disappointing news to the large number of fans expecting to head south on the train to cheer on their team but we would much rather everyone understands the position well in advance so that they can make their plans accordingly.

"Whilst there is never a good time to close the railway, we work closely with Network Rail to try and minimise the impact to our customers whilst this vital work takes place. The FA is also aware of the impact of the later kick-off time which severely restricts our ability to get the fans back home again that night.

"For those able to delay their return, we do have a number of services on the Sunday morning but these are expected to be busy so we would encourage anyone considering this option to book ahead."

The Club are offering official coach travel for fans with details on departure times, pricing and booking here.


Reader Comments (16)

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Rob Hooton
1 Posted 25/03/2016 at 15:16:10
Third World countries have better train services than UK... useless gonks couldn't arrange a piss up in a brewery.
Patrick Murphy
2 Posted 25/03/2016 at 17:01:46
Rob (1) That's probably true but why did the FA decide to arrange the Semi-Finals for the same weekend as the London Marathon? I assume the Marathon had its date set earlier than the FA Cup.

How come the authorities i.e. the police etc, allowed both events to be held on the same weekend, they usually don't allow Everton to host Liverpool when it's dark out, but they are quite willing to see Everton play Man Utd or West Ham Utd in the evening.

Ray Roche
3 Posted 25/03/2016 at 17:29:46
And why a 17:15 kick off?
Martin Nicholls
5 Posted 25/03/2016 at 18:48:38
Patrick and Ray – rhetorical questions? Simple fact is that games are scheduled by TV to suit the armchair supporter with no other consideration realistically considered.
Simon Smith
6 Posted 25/03/2016 at 19:49:20
Since when have you known the FA to give a damm about the fans?

Oh here you can have some more tickets but you won't get home by train till the next day because we need a later kick-off for TV reasons to keep the people that pay our wages happy.

And I think the final is also penned in for a later kick-off too.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 25/03/2016 at 19:52:12
I have booked a train which is going from Southpark direct to Wembley and is guaranteed, I hope now, to get me back to Liverpool on Saturday night even if there is extra time and penalties.
James Byrne
8 Posted 26/03/2016 at 12:50:03
What an utter disgrace and a mockery of what the FA Cup Semi-Final stands for. If we get Man Utd in the final, that leaves 2 sets of fans bottle-necked and stuck around London. All this taking place during one of the world's busiest Marathon weekends.

In the current climate of things, what do people do if there is a terrorist threat in London! If these events can't be properly and safely planned they shouldn't go ahead or at least be relocated to another location.

The capital of England, my arse.......

Bill Gall
9 Posted 26/03/2016 at 13:06:34
Let's put the blame were it really comes from and that is the greedy FA when they changed the venues for the semi-finals from a neutral ground to Wembley for financial reasons.

This not only takes away the excitement of going to the final at Wembley but once again provides the London clubs and area all the advantages of easier transport and less travel time.

It is about time the semi-finals were moved back to neutral grounds and just the final played at Wembley.

Brian Wilkinson
10 Posted 27/03/2016 at 05:43:16
No surprises there, did I miss something when the same company, after the Capital One Cup Final said, do not worry, we will ensure both Liverpool and Man City fans will get back, we will lay on extra trains should it go to extra time and penalties.

If my memory serves me right, that was on a Sunday as well, when engineering work normally takes place.

Ste Byn
11 Posted 27/03/2016 at 10:21:12
"Network Rail's essential maintenance work on the West Coast Main Line that has been months in the planning"

That essential it took months to plan, then on top of that they decide to carry out the works......

"On what is already a busy weekend"

The intelligence of some people is just outstanding!!

Terry Underwood
12 Posted 27/03/2016 at 16:26:35
The first poster had it right... if fans could get home, the kick-off time would not be a real issue.

The fact is, that years of neglect and lack of investment, just in order to satisfy the shareholders, has led to a third world standard of service. Privatisation of the railways was a disaster from the outset.... sorry, rant over, and I don't even live up north.

Dean Adams
13 Posted 27/03/2016 at 16:54:17
They should hold the semi finals at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. All amenities are close at hand and the fans would feel a real welcome as they always have in the past. It would also save me hours of travel. :)
Ray Roche
14 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:05:58
Martin (#5),

I'm aware of the reasoning, Martin, the question was rhetorical. It is still a disgrace whichever way you look at it, a lack of consideration for the travelling fans just to allow a private company, Wembley National Stadium Ltd, a subsidiary of the FA, to glean even more money from Mugs R Us.

Nicholas Ryan
15 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:12:45
Am I in some parallel universe .... or does this advice refer to Saturday, when our game is on Sunday!! ... Am I missing something?!
Patrick Murphy
16 Posted 27/03/2016 at 17:14:24
Nicholas (15) Everton play either West Ham or Man U at Wembley on Saturday 23rd April 2016 - Kick-off 17:15pm
Nicholas Ryan
17 Posted 01/04/2016 at 00:04:43
Was the game ever on Sunday ... or am I just completely bonkers!!

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