Keeping our customers safe during events
Major events can result in more people than usual using our services. We’ll take extra steps to keep our customers travelling safely and reliably.
How do you decide which queues move and who has to wait outside?
Our queuing system
Our industry-leading queuing system is designed to allow customers’ access to trains on a first come first served basis and we release each queue according to the space available on the next service, holding the queue until the next train is due.
If we have to ask customers to wait outside stations for longer than we would like, we always give out waterproof ponchos.
This helps make the experience as comfortable as possible for everyone whilst still getting them home safely.
How do I know what’s happening on the day?
Communication with customers is a key part of the event day operation.
On the day we have high numbers of staff available to provide direct information, we have extra station announcers to ensure the information is regular and consistent, and we even operate a specific twitter feed to provide live updates from the station.
The Twitter feed is managed by a member of our event team, based in our Crowd Management Centre, and is by far the best source of live information on an event day if you have access to twitter.
Before travelling, it is also important to check our website, which has a specific page for each event.
Check our events page to find information on the plan of the queuing system, details of any additional train services, and other useful advice such as how long customers can expect to queue, disabled access and the location of public toilets.
Why do I have to wait outside the station?
The best way that we can safely manage the high number of customers is to implement crowd management procedures before and after the events, such as queuing systems and restricted movement within stations.
We employ crowd management professionals to manage the flow of customers on the ground, and they are supported by a team of competent and experienced railway staff who provide customer assistance on the platforms, and coordinate the operation in the crowd management control centre.
As you can imagine, if all the customers were permitted to enter the station without any form of crowd control there would be safety risks in terms of over-crowding on platforms, and customers being prevented from boarding their desired train services
Why don’t you put on more carriages on an event day?
We spend up to three months in advance of a fixture planning the train service and crowd management.
This includes the provision of extra carriages and services on the most popular routes taking people to and from these locations. All this is done with consideration of the limitations of the fleet we have at our disposal.
As an example, the impact a 72,500 capacity stadium has on Cardiff Central Railway station, given its location and the benefits of using rail travel as opposed to road, means that this can result in a significantly higher number of customers using the station on an event day.
As a general indication of the popularity of services, prior to events at Cardiff, around 30,000 customers can arrive at the station before the event, and up to 40,000 customers return to the station to get home afterwards. During these event days, the depots are empty, as every train at our disposal is out in service, unless undertaking absolutely essential maintenance work.
Just the ticket
Why not listen to how we prepare for major events on our Just the Ticket podcast.