Shambles at Wembley Central after League Cup on Sunday at Wembley Stadium

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MKB

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After the match at Wembley on Sunday, we went for a meal for an hour to wait for the passenger numbers to die down. Our journey was for the 20:04 LM service from Wembley Central to Watford Junction, connecting on to the 20:32 VT service to Coventry, the latter being on a non-flexible (Traveller) ticket.

Arriving at Wembley Central at 19:45, there were no organised queues, just melées of people crowding around various entrances mainly being refused admission. There was much frustration, but I didn't see any passengers behaving badly. Three separate members of railway staff told us that for our LM train to WFJ, we had to keep walking up High Road and turn left. Temporary signs along the route confirmed that for trains to WFJ we were going in the right direction.

We were sent on a quarter of a mile long walk around three left turns until we approached a back entrance to the station where a long queue of people eventually snaked on to platform 1. It took until 20:00 to get to this point.

We then noticed that there were London Underground style roundels on the walls, and no departure times listed on the display monitors. This was not where an LM train was going to come in, despite the previous three assurances. We checked with another member of staff who told us that we needed to go to platform 5. We were not allowed to go out the way we came in and were told we had to fight our way along the very congested platform to the other end to get out. From there, we were directed back outside to High Road where we'd been 20 minutes earlier.

A sympathetic member of staff then tried to help us through the crowd that was outside the entrance that led to platform 5. We made our train only because it was running late, but needless to say this was a very stressful experience, and needlessly so.

Once on platform 5, there were just 20 other people there. No-one without tickets was allowed in to buy one, and only a few people with tickets were allowed in. Everyone else was being directed to platform 1. The LM service left with plenty of empty seats.

Why sell tickets for a service if you then do all in your power to stop people from using it, and do so by quite devious means, not making it clear that that's what you're doing?
 
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Wath Yard

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The modern railway simply doesn't know how to deal with major sporting events. I attended a couple of finals at Cardiff when Wembley was being rebuilt. Absolute, unadulterated chaos.
 

Clip

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The modern railway simply doesn't know how to deal with major sporting events. I attended a couple of finals at Cardiff when Wembley was being rebuilt. Absolute, unadulterated chaos.
yet you use chiltern services after a game and its all done properly with barriers and good queuing so you get on a train as fast as possible.

So im guessing its just some of the modern railway then.. I.E those parts where the vast majority will head to as they may not know any different and thus cause extensive crowd issues.
 

Liam

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Haymarket seems to cope pretty well after events at Murrayfield. Smaller crowd, but it's really just down to good organisation by police and station staff.
 

Simon11

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Using Wembley Park is always a breeze, excellent service and only takes around 15minutes queue to get to the platforms considering the huge amounts of people heading for the station.
 

exile

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Haymarket seems to cope pretty well after events at Murrayfield. Smaller crowd, but it's really just down to good organisation by police and station staff.
In 1975 Murrayfield had a crowd of 104,000 and Haymarket coped rather well..... and even today crowds of 70,000 (so not that much smaller than Wembley).
 

Oswyntail

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Looking at this from the other side, doesn't this show how moronic it was to have the National Football Stadium in an obscure suburb with relatively poor transport links.:roll:
 

142094

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Big sporting events in the North East do not seem to be handled well train-wise - for most football matches locally, you are lucky enough if Northern decide to double up one service each way, never mind add additional services. Now I know that this could be due to staffing costs etc, but when you consider that every Northern service apart from the MetroCentre shuttle and trains to Hexham out of Newcastle is one tph, then it would make sense to cater for the increased load instead of advising people to 'seek alternative means of transport'.
 

ls1911

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The modern railway simply doesn't know how to deal with major sporting events. I attended a couple of finals at Cardiff when Wembley was being rebuilt. Absolute, unadulterated chaos.
Not all the modern railway. Aintree races/the Grand National are always handled very well.
 

ushawk

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Looking at this from the other side, doesn't this show how moronic it was to have the National Football Stadium in an obscure suburb with relatively poor transport links.:roll:
It isnt poor transport links, Wembley Park Tube is always well organised, as is Wembley Stadium when ive used it. Never used Wembley Central myself though - perhaps they werent expecting high numbers there ?
 

junglejames

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What would normally happen at Wembley then? I ask because I shall be using Wembley Central for football purposes tomorrow night...
Wembley Central is further from the stadium than any of the other options, and is a stupidly complicated station. Even more so on matchday by the sounds of it.
Do you need to use Wembley Central?
 

yorkie

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It sounds very poor.

But if I was asked for the quickest way to get to Watford after a major football game at Wembley, I'd probably say to go to Wembley Park, then take the Met. If the train called at Northwick Park, I'd consider changing there and walking (5 mins) for the Bakerloo/LO from Kenton towards Watford Jn (though there'd be a risk of not being able to board at Kenton as it's only a few stops from Wembley Central, though I suspect it may be possible at either the very front or rear of the train).

Alternatively stay on to Watford, and then walk (30 mins) to Watford Jn.

If I got on a train that was heading to Uxbridge/Amersham that called at Northwick Park I'd take that option; if I got on a Watford train I'd probably stay on to Watford. If the train called at neither and I had a Travelcard, then I'd take a bus from Harrow-on-the-Hill to Harrow & Wealdstone (they are very frequent).

The passenger capacity is much greater at Wembley Park than Wembley Central. And don't even consider Wembley Stadium unless you leave the ground early and/or the exit from your seats happens to be nearest the station entrance.
 

Matt Taylor

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The modern railway simply doesn't know how to deal with major sporting events. I attended a couple of finals at Cardiff when Wembley was being rebuilt. Absolute, unadulterated chaos.

That's a very poor generalisation. SWT managed to get everybody where they wanted to go with the minimum of fuss the previous night at Twickenham after a full house at the stadium, I've been involved in many 'Rugby days' at Twickenham and it is rare for things not to go smoothly.
 

DavidBrown

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And don't even consider Wembley Stadium unless you leave the ground early and/or the exit from your seats happens to be nearest the station entrance.
Why? I've used it several times after big events - sometimes minutes after the event finishing, sometimes over half an hour after the finish, and I've never had any problems whatsoever - considering how much of a logistical nightmare it must be, Wembley Stadium Station is probably one of the best I've ever seen for handling big crowds.

As for the OP's problems, prehaps the Extra Time and Penalties threw things a bit? Do any extra trains get held up if the event finishing time is delayed, or do they just go empty and leave normal services later in the evening jammed full? Though I would say that going for a meal when you're on a fairly tight schedule anyway was a bit silly to say the least.
 

87015

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As for the OP's problems, prehaps the Extra Time and Penalties threw things a bit? Do any extra trains get held up if the event finishing time is delayed, or do they just go empty and leave normal services later in the evening jammed full? Though I would say that going for a meal when you're on a fairly tight schedule anyway was a bit silly to say the least.
What extra trains? LM threw stops in the the northbound 3tph Sunday service but ran the booked formations so the majority were four cars which would have been wedged ex Euston on a normal sunday anyway. No wonder it was a shambles, the station cat could have seen that coming!

As said, sections of the railway can't and won't cope with events because they can't be bothered - as usual LM lead the way for uselessness.
 

Clip

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Why? I've used it several times after big events - sometimes minutes after the event finishing, sometimes over half an hour after the finish, and I've never had any problems whatsoever - considering how much of a logistical nightmare it must be, Wembley Stadium Station is probably one of the best I've ever seen for handling big crowds.

.
I have to agree with you here. They have regular shuttles into Marylebone whilst still catering for the normal service. Your unlucky if you wait any more then 40 mins in the barrierd queues in my experience.
 

barrykas

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What would normally happen at Wembley then? I ask because I shall be using Wembley Central for football purposes tomorrow night...
What normally happens is that White Horse Bridge is closed for "through" pedestrian traffic and used solely for queuing for access to Wembley Stadium station and passengers are advised to use either Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium because Wembley Central allegedly can't cope.

Cheers,

Barry
 

Oswyntail

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It isnt poor transport links, Wembley Park Tube is always well organised, as is Wembley Stadium when ive used it. Never used Wembley Central myself though - perhaps they werent expecting high numbers there ?
I am sure that the stations are generally well organised - but you can't get away from the fact that they are designed and run as suburban stations, not particularly well for massive crowds. Add in that the roads around the stadium are clogged up with coaches and pedestrians (because they are suburban back streets!), and that there is little in the way of direct links from "local" airports (for internationals). Overall, a crass decision to keep the stadium there, when there was the opportunity to use a green field site more central to the country with better links.
 

swt_passenger

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I am sure that the stations are generally well organised - but you can't get away from the fact that they are designed and run as suburban stations, not particularly well for massive crowds.
Wembley Park (at least) tube had a whole raft of improvements by 2006 specifically to handle events at Wembley more easily. There's no justification for saying it is only 'designed and run as a suburban station'.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/static/corporate/media/newscentre/archive/3670.html
 

transmanche

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I am sure that the stations are generally well organised - but you can't get away from the fact that they are designed and run as suburban stations
Not the case with Wembley Park. Originally built to serve the pleasure grounds located on the site of the future stadium. Much expanded since; the station, platform and track layouts are all designed to cope with stadium crowds.
 
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Clip

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Overall, a crass decision to keep the stadium there, when there was the opportunity to use a green field site more central to the country with better links.
I dont agree. And you're also forgetting about the history surrounding the national stadium being where it is.

And with a plethora of routes available to you by tube bus and train I think the transport links are very good. Its just the large volume of people that dont understand where they need to be and move to the one place that cause the issues.
 

CheekyBandit

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The modern railway simply doesn't know how to deal with major sporting events. I attended a couple of finals at Cardiff when Wembley was being rebuilt. Absolute, unadulterated chaos.
It doesn't know how to deal with third tier league matches let alone major sporting events. Went to see my team Charlton Athletic this weekend - loads of people waiting at Charlton station for London-bound trains (due to a low cost ticket promotion) and just about all of them were single 4-carriage EMUs.
 
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dviner

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It sounds very poor.

But if I was asked for the quickest way to get to Watford after a major football game at Wembley, I'd probably say to go to Wembley Park, then take the Met. If the train called at Northwick Park, I'd consider changing there and walking (5 mins) for the Bakerloo/LO from Kenton towards Watford Jn (though there'd be a risk of not being able to board at Kenton as it's only a few stops from Wembley Central, though I suspect it may be possible at either the very front or rear of the train).

Alternatively stay on to Watford, and then walk (30 mins) to Watford Jn.

If I got on a train that was heading to Uxbridge/Amersham that called at Northwick Park I'd take that option; if I got on a Watford train I'd probably stay on to Watford. If the train called at neither and I had a Travelcard, then I'd take a bus from Harrow-on-the-Hill to Harrow & Wealdstone (they are very frequent).
When I was a regular traveller on the Met, all trains stopped at Harrow-on-the-Hill, so it would be a case of getting the first west-bound Met line out of Wembley Park and sorting out if you need to change or not at H-o-t-H.

Wouldn't fancy doing the Watford Met to Watford Junction transfer, though.
 

Old Yard Dog

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North Wembley is a little known alternative to Wembley Central which isn't used all that much.

The worst queues I've been in after sporting events have been at Mount Florida after a big game at Hampden Park and at the Stadium of Light metro after a rare England international there. On both occasions I waited more than an hour.

In the past, a useful ruse at Cardiff to avoid the queues at Central was to board at Queen Street, which is usually much quieter, and take a local train to Central. But I've only tried this for football matches involving English teams and not when Wales RU were playing. On those occasions, Queen St is probably very popular with locals from the Valleys.

It's amazing how many visitors to Old Trafford don't know there are special services from the BR station adjacent to the main stand and head for the overcrowded metro services instead.

But if you're a real connoisseur of obscure stations, I think extra trains still stop at Bordesley in both directions when Birmingham are at home.
 
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