The FA Cup

Everton fans face FA Cup semi-final travel nightmare

facupEvertonians have been left angered over the news that extra trains will not be put on to help them get home from London after Everton’s FA Cup semi-final on April 23rd.

Virgin Trains has announced that it has no plans for further services at the end of the last four tie, which is being held at Wembley.

Everton will face either West Ham United or Manchester United for a place in the final of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition at 5:15pm.

As it stands, the last trains departing for the North West from Euston station are timed at 8:11pm and 8:31pm – the latter of which will see passengers have to make two changes.

But, with extra time or a penalty shootout potentially deciding the outcome of the match, Blues supporters may not leave Wembley until after 8pm – meaning fans face a mad dash to reach those trains in time.

Virgin Trains general manager Gary Iddon claims that essential maintenance work on the West Coast Main Line has been in the works for months.

And he advised fans making the trip down South to stay in London overnight before heading home the following day.

Mr Iddon said: “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.

“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.”

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Tom Power is a 28 year old trainee journalist and assistant editor of NSNO.

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