Trains will have half the space for Wales v France fans than a normal Six Nations game

Wales v France fans returning home by train on Friday night are warned that rail services around Cardiff will only have half the capacity of a normal Six Nations game on Saturday afternoon.

The late 8pm kick-off at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff means there are limited train services available from TfW and other operators after the game.

There is also a sold-out James Arthur concert taking place at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena at the same time, which should increase demand for services after 10 p.m.

Passengers are being urged to plan their journeys carefully as railway bosses prepare for a ‘significant challenge’, while Queen Street station will not be open until 9pm on Friday evening unless the customers have access requirements or travel to Cardiff Bay.

Combined with Friday evening rush hour traffic and road closures, the entire transport network around the Welsh capital is expected to be exceptionally busy.

GWR said it will operate 11 services to Newport, Bristol and London from 10 p.m., offering more than 4,000 seats and including the use of its capacity-increasing all-electric Class 387 Electrostars.

It will also operate five intercity express train services from Cardiff to Swansea from 10:31 p.m., offering 3,250 seats.

Colin Lea, director of planning and performance at Transport for Wales, said: “Cardiff have hosted a significant number of Friday night Six Nations fixtures since their introduction in 2009, so we have solid plans in place ahead of the game. from this week.

“But the Friday night game presents a significant challenge to the rail network around Cardiff, with tens of thousands of people wanting to travel during a smaller post-match window.

“We have more capacity than the last Friday night game in 2016, but due to the late arrival, only about half the capacity of a Saturday afternoon.

“We are working closely with Great Western Railways (GWR), Network Rail and the British Transport Police to ensure we can get people where they need to go, but it is essential that everyone plans their journeys carefully and checks the latest travel information on the TfW website, app or social media.”

Fans traveling to Newport after the match will be asked to queue in the square outside Cardiff Central Station rather than from the Riverside car park.

TfW will work with the British Transport Police to remind customers that face coverings must always be worn on public transport in Wales unless exempted.

Fans traveling to the match are advised to allow time to enter the pitch and travel early as trains just before kick-off are expected to be very busy.

Construction Inspector Richard Powell said: “As well as having additional officers on the network, we would like to remind passengers of our discreet text message service. Save the number 61016 in your phone in case you need to our assistance on the railway or to report any suspicious activity.”

Wales v France marks the 11th Friday night match to be played in the Six Nations since their introduction in 2009, and Wales have been involved in 10 of them, with the Six Nations fourth round being the seventh to Cardiff.

Only Wales and France have historically been willing to stage such matches, with England and Ireland refusing to do so, citing travel issues in terms of getting fans to and from matches, the Scotland and Italy fearing it will affect attendance numbers. You can find out more about the reasons for Wales’ Friday night schedule here.

Based on current ticket sales, the game between defending Six Nations champions and Grand Slam champions Les Bleus is expected to be played in front of some 10,000 empty seats and thousands of tickets remaining unsold.

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