Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

On the road to…Wembley

Posted in London, On the road..., Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 22 May 2012

Well, well, well. Who’d have thought that I’d need to write one last post about an away trip this season. And to where? Why, to Wembley of course, thanks to our finishing third and having to negotiate the lottery of the play-offs. While of course automatic promotion is better, it does mean that those two gain the success without the opportunity to taking the long walk up to actually collect the trophy. Of course, it totally sucks if you end up on the losing side. So it’s best not to lose the most valuable game in football when we take on Blackpool.

Date: 19 May 2012
Stadium: Wembley Stadium
Capacity: 90,000
Attendence: 78,523
Away Section: Western End
Score: Blackpool 1-2 West Ham United
Nearest station: Wembley Stadium
Local rozzers: Metropolitan Police
Total Travel Cost: £60.40p (1 x Super Off-Peak Return; 1 x All-Day Tramrider; 1 x Oystercard PAYG Single)

Rail Journeys:
NET Line 1Nottingham Trent University to Royal Centre (AT 6/5 Incentro)
NET Line 1 – Royal Centre to Nottingham Station Street (AT 6/5 Incentro)
11:02 – Nottingham to London St Pancras (East Midlands Trains Class 222 Meridian)
Circle LineKings Cross St Pancras to Baker Street (C69/77 Stock)
Metropolitan Line – Baker Street to Wembley Park (A60/62 Stock)
18:05 – Wembley Central to Kensal Green (London Overground Class 378 Capitalstar)
Bakerloo Line – Kensal Green to Baker Street (1972 Stock)
Circle Line – Baker Street to Kings Cross St Pancras (C69/77 Stock)
19:30 – London St Pancras to Nottingham (East Midlands Trains Class 222 Meridian)
NET Line 1 – Nottingham Station Street to Old Market Square (AT 6/5 Incentro)
NET Line 1 – Royal Centre to Nottingham Trent University (AT 6/5 Incentro)

Station to Stadium: Being the national stadium, Wembley has to be well served by public transport, and it has the virtue of having three separate railway stations close by. As with me on Saturday, most people will tend to arrive at Wembley Park, the only one of the three not to have a National Rail service, for a very good reason – it is from Wembley Park that fans take the iconic walk up “Wembley Way” (actually Olympic Way) that leads right to the exterior of the stadium, where once there were the famous Twin Towers, and now there is the Arch. Essentially it is down the big flight of stairs and through the tunnel, and then a straight walk all the way, making sure you then take the correct bridge up to the stadium, depending on which end you are in.

Somewhat unusually, the station I arrived at with this one was not the station I left from; given that most of the 80,000 would head back to Wembley Park, the smart thing is to use one of the others, and so I decamped to Wembley Central, which is the furthest of the three, but also fairly convenient if you are in the western end of the stadium (which we were). Heading off down South Way, past Wembley Stadium, down Wembley Hill Road and onto the High Road, and then it’s a brisk walk of around 10-15 minutes. Of course, on days when there are events, naturally there are more entrances, as Wembley Central has not benefitted to the degree Wembley Park has from reconstruction, and thus the main entrance, even for the reduced numbers that would head that way, would probably not cope.

Anything else?: While Wembley Stadium is the closest station to Wembley itself, both Wembley Park and Wembley Central have significantly more services to and from London.

Wembley Park tube station

Wembley Central railway station

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