Great Western Railway (GWR) has said it is increasing the use of its electric-only trains for those travelling between Cardiff and Newport to help disperse crowds following Saturday’s (19 March) fixture with Italy.
The rail operator will use capacity-boosting Class 387 Electrostars, which will perform eight half-hourly shuttle services. In all, there will be 40 trains and more than 20,000 seats for fans after the match, but supporters are warned services will be busy and a queueing system will be in place outside Cardiff Central station.
In a repeat of previous fixtures during the 2022 campaign, fans travelling to Newport after the game will be asked to queue on the square in front of Cardiff Central station, rather than from Riverside Car Park.
Customers should check social media for the latest information on queueing times. In line with the latest Welsh Government guidance, customers are reminded that they must wear a face mask when travelling in Wales, unless they are exempt.
GWR is increasing its Cardiff-Newport shuttle services from six to eight in response to last month’s Wales-Scotland fixture, when some fans opted to head home later in the evening.
The Electrostars will run in shuttle to Newport between 1611 and 1946. GWR will also run eight Intercity Express Trains (IET) to London up to 2118 and 12 services to Bristol up to 2247.
It will also run an IET from Cardiff to Port Talbot Parkway at 1615, and a further 11 IET services from Cardiff to Swansea from 1642 until 2251.
GWR customer service & operations director, Richard Rowland, said: “We have been very pleased with the effectiveness of our more sustainable Class 387 electric trains in moving fans from Cardiff to Newport.
“For the match against Scotland, we did notice a second wave of fans leaving Cardiff later in the evening, so we’ll be providing two extra shuttle services on Saturday to help fans get back to Newport and free up more space on our London and Bristol services.
“Cardiff Central is always busy after the Six Nations rugby so we’re reminding customers of the need to queue and helping them to board trains safely.”
Transport for Wales Planning and Performance Director, Colin Lea, said: “We are anticipating another busy weekend on the network getting in and out of Cardiff, so we strongly encourage people to plan their journeys carefully and leave plenty of time to get to the match.
“We have plenty of capacity after the game but we would recommend everyone makes sure they are familiar with the post-game queuing system and please be patient with fellow passengers and staff as we try to get everyone home.
“For the latest information visit the Transport for Wales website, mobile app or social media channels.”
Fans travelling to the game are advised to allow time to enter the ground, and to travel early, with trains immediately before the 1415 kick-off expected to be very busy.
For more information, or to check your journey, please visit GWR.com.