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More than 60 Great Western Railway trains will serve Cardiff on Saturday for Wales’ Six Nations opener against Ireland, providing nearly 30,000 seats.
The train operator expects to run a normal Saturday timetable following Friday’s industrial action, with 17 additional trains helping to get rugby fans to and from the Welsh capital.
GWR will operate a total of 38 trains to Cardiff Central ahead of the 14:15 kick-off at the Principality Stadium, with a further 23 trains carrying rugby fans home after the match.
This will include the use of GWR’s capacity-boosting electric-only trains operating a shuttle service between Cardiff Central and Newport at 1711, a service to London Paddington at 1740, and to Swindon at 1840.
Trains are expected to be very busy immediately after the match and a queueing system will be in place outside the station.
In a repeat of the system in place for last year’s Six Nations fixtures, supporters travelling east towards Newport will be asked to queue on the square in front of Cardiff Central, rather than from Riverside Car Park.
GWR Customer Service & Operations Director, Richard Rowland, said:
“Although industrial action will significantly impact services across the GWR network on Wednesday and Friday, we do expect to be able to operate a normal timetable on Thursday and Saturday.
“That’s obviously good news for rugby fans travelling to Cardiff and we hope they enjoy the start of this year’s Six Nations.
“We’re pleased to have been able to put on some additional services, but we’d like to remind supporters that trains will be extremely busy leading up to kick-off and immediately following the match.
“We would encourage customers to check journey times and allow sufficient time to queue to board trains safely.”
Transport for Wales is not affected by this week’s industrial action.
TfW Head of Planning, Adam Terry, said:
“We look forward to welcoming tens of thousands of rugby supporters onto our services for the first of Wales’ two home fixtures in this year’s Six Nations.
“We will have every available train in use and will be strengthening services to and from Cardiff to provide as much capacity as possible.
“Peak time rail services before and after the match are likely to be very busy, so passengers are advised to make use of earlier and later trains, or book one of the TfW coaches to ensure you have a guaranteed seat to get to the game and home afterwards.
“A queuing system will be in place at Cardiff Central after the game and we’ll be working alongside the other train operators to get passengers home as quickly and as safely as possible.”
For more information, or to check your journey, please visit GWR.com.