Euro 2020 - My experience of Wembley post-match rail services

Status
Not open for further replies.

Old Yard Dog

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2011
Messages
1,166
Not feeling confident enough to trust long-distance rail yet, I drove down and booked myself into a hotel in Ruislip for the Euro 2020 final and then travelled to Wembley Park on the Metropolitan line. Having seen the huge crowds on Wembley Way two hours before kick off, I was worried about getting home afterwards if the game went to extra time and penalties. Having studied my options, I decided the best bet was to go for Chiltern's 2355 from Wembley Stadium to West Ruislip if the stopping train queue wasn't too bad, which it wasn't. I thought it too late to walk to Alperton for the Piccadilly line. Having waited 30 mins in the rain, we were let on to the platform at 2345, only for the train to be delayed as various empty stock workings passed by before reversing to form southbound shuttles to Marylebone. Then hordes more were allowed onto the platform as a Banbury train had left Marylebone before mine. When the 2355 finally arrived 28 minutes late, hundreds of people were forced to cram on - it was like Tokyo in the rush hour. I think a later semi-fast train had got cancelled and Chiltern tried to get two lots of passengers into one unit.

Having successfully social distanced for 14 months, even in the stadium, I was suddenly squashed like a sardine with scores of others, hardly anybody wearing masks and many too young to have been double vaccinated.

Chiltern let me down. I don't think their northwards stopping timetable made sufficient allowance for (a) extra time and penalties and (b) the fact that people would want to stay for the presentations, particularly if England had won. I hope I haven't caught anything.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

30907

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
12,485
Location
Airedale
I can't see any evidence of a cancellation, but it looks as though a last minute unit swap was made at MYB, possibly because of a fault, and obviously this wasn't communicated in time for you to be kept off the platform.

PS In your opinion, would the train have had sufficient capacity had it left on time? And how busy was the Banbury/Birmingham ttain you mention?
 

gimmea50anyday

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2013
Messages
3,183
Location
Back Cab
An 8pm Kick-off on a sunday for a match that could potentially have gone over its scheduled time - oh, wait, it did!

so, 23:00 and 60,000 people need transportation yet the railway has already started shutting down for the night as has the underground. Buses have finished running and night services have started which are a different fares structure. Taxis are rate 2 leaving many people with just one option, their car. And that would have cause massive traffic congestion issues which would have affected the buses, coaches and taxis people were using to get to the few trains that were running that late in the evening. Hardly green, nor wise when alcohol is involved. Plus you could argue defeat led to a degraded state of mind and could have impacted on concentration leading to accidents....

This isn't just the 60,000 in Wembley Stadium though. Its people across the country in local pubs, stadia and other pop-up locations across the country who have put related events on and are also showing the match, families who are watching the game together in houses and gardens etc. What were the viewing figures? 33 million plus? How many of them required transport to and from where they watched the game?
Then there's the knock on effect, The Monday morning trying to get kids back to school who have had late nights, people going sick or turning up for work with hangovers or worse still under the influence. Transport infrastructure displaced from the previous night either through additional services the previous night or early short staffing or displaced stock (Not just trains but also buses and coaches and taxis)

Holding the final of a major tournament at 8pm on a sunday was a bad idea (Bear in mind a significant chunk of Europe are an hour or more ahead of UK BST) 5pm maybe far more sensible as even a delayed finish would still have had people heading away from all of the major london termini from 9pm onwards.

In the case of the OP while a poor experience from your part I understand, planning such an event at such a time as the FA and UEFA decided upon was a bad decision logistically. Chiltern probably did well to even source a train and crew to operate that service under the circumstances given many TOCs were reporting staff shortages all day as people didn't want to work their rest day or overtime. Given working hour limitations and maintenance requirements they might have struggled to maintain services they did have running had there been any further delays during the match.

Can you imagine the chaos that would have ensued had England won?
 

ash39

Established Member
Joined
8 Feb 2012
Messages
1,456
Having successfully social distanced for 14 months, even in the stadium, I was suddenly squashed like a sardine with scores of others, hardly anybody wearing masks and many too young to have been double vaccinated.

How did you manage to socially distance in the stadium? I can't find any official attendance figures but it looked to be almost full capacity crowd.
 

Lewlew

Member
Joined
15 Oct 2019
Messages
404
Location
London
How did you manage to socially distance in the stadium? I can't find any official attendance figures but it looked to be almost full capacity crowd.
It was 2/3s full. 60000 out of a max 90000
 

telstarbox

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2010
Messages
5,361
Location
Wennington Crossovers
That's always going to be tricky with a knockout tournament though. As late as Wednesday 2200 it could have been a final without England, which would have changed the whole picture for travel demands. And once it was confirmed as England, fewer staff would want the overtime instead of watching it themselves!
 

ashkeba

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2019
Messages
1,771
That's always going to be tricky with a knockout tournament though. As late as Wednesday 2200 it could have been a final without England, which would have changed the whole picture for travel demands. And once it was confirmed as England, fewer staff would want the overtime instead of watching it themselves!
Is it easier to cut services or add them? I am surprised if the National Railway did not believe in England's national team enough to make provision, or maybe this is another time where the railways can be accused of not providing public service because moving thousands of people near the end of service is difficult.
 

Old Yard Dog

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2011
Messages
1,166
Some more info ...

I believe that my train, the 2345 MYB - AYL (2A74) was delayed due to problems with a disruptive passenger at MYB.

And I now believe that passengers for the 0010 MYB - AYL (1A78) train were allowed on to the platform at WCX before 2A74 had left, thus seriously overcrowding 2A74.

These trains had different stopping patterns after leaving WCX. 2A74 was more or less all stations, 1A78 missed a few out.

Passengers for the 0003 MYB - BMO (1U77) were also on the platform but this was only announced as going to Banbury. It was busy but not as busy as 2A74.

There were quite a few empty seats near me inside the ground so keeping 6 feet away from others was not a problem. The problems were outside.
 

telstarbox

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2010
Messages
5,361
Location
Wennington Crossovers
While it doesn't sound ideal, I do have some sympathy for the operators here. Even the FA Cup semi finals and final are planned with more notice and they have more experience to draw on. Similarly the 2012 Olympics were planned well in advance for a similar size crowd. This was a once in a decade event and with England being in the final, a lot more people converged on Wembley than just the ticket holders.

For context some of the Italy fans were only allowed in for 12 hours and they were transferred directly to/from the airport with no use of public transport permitted. So if another non-UK team had made the final there may have been very little demand for trains to Wembley.
 

telstarbox

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2010
Messages
5,361
Location
Wennington Crossovers
This isn't just the 60,000 in Wembley Stadium though. Its people across the country in local pubs, stadia and other pop-up locations across the country who have put related events on and are also showing the match, families who are watching the game together in houses and gardens etc. What were the viewing figures? 33 million plus? How many of them required transport to and from where they watched the game?
Then there's the knock on effect, The Monday morning trying to get kids back to school who have had late nights, people going sick or turning up for work with hangovers or worse still under the influence. Transport infrastructure displaced from the previous night either through additional services the previous night or early short staffing or displaced stock (Not just trains but also buses and coaches and taxis)
We toyed with the idea of visiting friends in NW London to watch the final, but decided to stay at home because even a 2200 finish would have meant a difficult journey home. Especially as it rained!
 

Old Yard Dog

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2011
Messages
1,166
While it doesn't sound ideal, I do have some sympathy for the operators here. Even the FA Cup semi finals and final are planned with more notice and they have more experience to draw on. Similarly the 2012 Olympics were planned well in advance for a similar size crowd. This was a once in a decade event and with England being in the final, a lot more people converged on Wembley than just the ticket holders.

For context some of the Italy fans were only allowed in for 12 hours and they were transferred directly to/from the airport with no use of public transport permitted. So if another non-UK team had made the final there may have been very little demand for trains to Wembley.

I don't think that's true. I bought my ticket for the final before the finalists were known, and before England beat Germany, and would have gone whoever was playing. If two overseas teams had been playing, their allocation of tickets would have been sold to exiles of those countries resident in the UK, as happened with Denmark's tickets for the semi-final. Only a very small number would have been allowed to travel in from Europe - 1,000 in Italy's case. So 95% of the crowd would have been people travelling from within Britain and they would all have needed to get home. The crowd would have been 66,000 whoever was playing.

In the event, large numbers of ticketless England fans travelled to Wembley earlier in the day to soak up the atmosphere. But most headed off well before kick off to find somewhere to watch the game on TV. When I got off my Met line tube at Wembley Park at 5 pm, as many people got on the train to travel into London as people who got off. I was surprised.
 

Vespa

Member
Joined
20 Dec 2019
Messages
862
Location
Merseyside
I was in Newcastle at the time and saw how busy the pubs are with the possibility of extra time and the last minute rush to get the bus and trains home just like at Wembley.

I choose the better option, I watched it at the hotel, while being able to watch the match, have a but of an atmosphere and social distance without worry about cramming on the last bus back.

Looks like I made a good call as we lost and I believe there were people kicking off and having fights.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top