Wembley-bound Liverpool fans to face rail engineering

A Virgin Pendolino train
Three of Virgin's Liverpool to London trains have been cancelled on final day Photo: Virgin Trains

Liverpool fans heading to Wembley for their team's FA Cup final with Chelsea will have to contend with a series of rail engineering works.

Nine million passengers are expected to travel by train over the May bank holiday weekend, including thousands of football fans heading to the match on Saturday May 5.

The rail industry said there were would be 17% fewer replacement bus services than there were in the 2011 May bank holiday weekend.

But nearly every passenger train company will be operating some replacement bus services over this year's May bank holiday weekend, with the West Coast Main Line and Great Western routes through Reading being particularly affected.

The West Coast engineering work is the project that particularly affects the Liverpool fans, especially as the final is starting at 5.15pm.

All but three of Virgin's Liverpool to London trains have been cancelled that day with the last return service leaving just after 8pm - meaning fans face being stranded in the capital.

The West Coast disruption will affect passengers travelling on London Midland services as well. Some London Midland trains between London and Crewe/Birmingham New Street will start and finish at Northampton, with buses replacing trains between London and Milton Keynes Central/Northampton.

Virgin Trains is replacing trains with buses on some services between Crewe and Liverpool Lime Street, Carlisle and Glasgow Central/Edinburgh, and Crewe and Preston.

While saying that there would be around 17% fewer replacement bus services, the Association of Train Operating Companies and Network Rail (NR) added that there would be around 4% more trains running this year.

The two companies said: "The rail industry has cut its use of rail replacement buses by a third over the last three years. NR engineers will be working round the clock to lay new track, improve stations and repair bridges to help deliver a better railway for passengers."