Posted 11th February 2016 | 7 Comments
London Midland hires rolling stock to plug sports gap
LONDON MIDLAND and Wasps RFC have announced a special train service for Coventry Arena on match days, using spot hired rolling stock.
Coventry Arena station opened last month, but it was the subject of controversy because the new six-car platforms alongside the Ricoh Stadium also display notices warning potential visitors to the stadium that trains will not call before or after major events. This was because the crowds could overwhelm the single-car Class 153 unit which provides the hourly service on the line between Coventry and Nuneaton, and London Midland had said it had no additional rolling stock available.
However, rugby fans will now be able to catch the train to and from Coventry Arena for Wasps games against Harlequins and Leicester Tigers on Sunday 28 February and Saturday 12 March, when a six-car train will provide an extra 1,000 seats on the route before and after each game.
London Midland said it would also be promoting a special joint ticket in partnership with the club that will give fans arriving by train a discount at the Arena bars and a free drink. This will be available from railway booking offices on match days.
London Midland’s head of regional services Steven Fisher commented: “We listened to fans and stakeholders and made a commitment to look at every possible option. While London Midland has no additional trains for match days, we have hired in charter services to test the idea of running rugby specials.”
Andy Gibb, managing director of Arena Coventry Limited, said: ”The station next to the Ricoh Arena is a great asset. With further planned investment rail travel to the stadium will get even easier. We have worked hard with London Midland to find a solution in the short term. We will be doing all we can to raise awareness of the test services and we hope Wasps fans will get on board with the trial.”
London Midland said there would be a review of the 'operational and commercial performance' of the special services before deciding what would happen after 12 March.
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