‘This is 2013, not 1983’ – Norwich City fans’ anger at FA Cup tie train service

The scene on one of the East Midlands Trains services to Peterborough from Norwich on Saturday. The scene on one of the East Midlands Trains services to Peterborough from Norwich on Saturday.

Monday, January 7, 2013
12:32 PM

Furious Norwich City fans have hit out after transport chaos forced them to stand on overcrowded trains to get to their team’s FA Cup tie at Peterborough.

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Twitter complaints

@Stuartflatt – Absolute joke on the trains! #NCFC #whereistheextracarriage

@canarycaz Got 9.57, last 5 allowed on. Q stretched out of the station behind us. Must be even worse now!

‏@AliBailey92 – Never seen a queue like this to get on a train at Narich! Luckily train company have put a really long 2 carriage train on! #Naaat #NCFC

‏@TheCanaryFairy – Chaos at Norwich train station.. #ncfc

@Ajhcooper – Any @NorwichCityFC fans going by train, it’s chaos, get there early #ncfc

‏@ChrisBurgoyne – Train station rammed at Norwich. Getting taxi to Peterborough!

‏@Blofieldcanary – 8.57 train to Peterborough packed in like sardines. Sardines would be drinking less beer though #ncfc #yellow army

@MrCanary Disgraceful! Packed in like sardines going there & back. Toilets locked. BT pc at Ely said, “Tough”

@Kevinbealo Trains are carnage, full to the rim. Queuing out the station in Norwich apparently. #NCFC #yellowarmy

Canaries supporters arriving at Norwich train station early on Saturday morning were met with huge queues as hundreds of fans tried to get through the ticket gates to make their way to London Road for the third-round match.

And when they did get through they found the hourly East Midlands Trains services to Peterborough packed to capacity, with passengers standing in aisles the length of the train and travellers at other stops unable to board the full train.

Fans used Twitter to voice their anger at the poor conditions to and from the game, despite the operator adding extra capacity to one service in each direction, and raised questions over the scheduling of the extra carriages and the safety of carrying so many passengers.

Norwich City chief executive David McNally also used the social network to agree with one supporter’s complaint at the “disgraceful planning”, while the chairman of a Norwich City supporters’ group has demanded an apology from the train company management, who he says should “hang their heads in shame”.

The scene on one of the East Midlands Trains services to Peterborough from Norwich on Saturday.The scene on one of the East Midlands Trains services to Peterborough from Norwich on Saturday.

Greater Anglia, which operates the station, said it had drafted in extra staff for the day and had put on two non-stop coaches to Peterborough to deal with the backlog of fans, as well as operating a one-off 10-carriage football special service in each direction.

East Midlands Trains, the regular operator of the Norwich to Peterborough line, doubled the length of the 11.57am service to Peterborough to four carriages and ran a six-carriage return at 5.39pm.

A spokesman said the company and Greater Anglia had “worked hard to provide the maximum extra capacity possible”, and put on around 500 extra seats during the day, but had also had to add extra capacity to trains for Tranmere Rovers’ tie at Derby County.

“As with any special event on our network, we need to balance the need to provide extra seats whilst ensuring we continue to maintain normal services for passengers across other parts of our network,” she added.

“We’re sorry to hear that some supporters were unhappy with the service provided and we will review the arrangements we put in place in conjunction with Greater Anglia.”

Nev Townsend, chairman of the Forces 2 Canaries supporters’ group, compared the travelling conditions to those endured by football fans 30 years ago.

“This is 2013, not 1983,” he said. “They didn’t extend the trains – they should have doubled them. You couldn’t move on board, you couldn’t get to the toilets.”

Mr Townsend travelled on the 9.57am service to Peterborough on a £10 advance group saver ticket, with friends. They decided to wait for the 8.41pm return train in an effort to avoid the crowds, but found that train just as busy.

“The train company must have known the number of people there would be travelling, so why didn’t they extend the trains?”

Mr Townsend said supporters deserved an apology from East Midlands Trains for the standard of the service.

“I feel we were treated very badly,” he said. “They should hang their heads in shame in my opinion.”

Norwich fan Caroline Clarke was among the last to get on the 9.57am service and spent the journey standing next to two police officers.

“If it had kicked off on the train they couldn’t have got to the trouble never mind stopped it,” she said.

“I can’t believe EMT thought that fans would be getting a train that got you in only 90 minutes before kick-off and want to leave immediately after, so only increased those.”

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said staff from both companies had worked together to get supporters on the trains to the match.

He added: “We also arranged to run two non-stop bus services to Peterborough to assist with moving passengers as quickly as we could.

“The scheduled EMT services were always expected to be busy which is why we took the decision to run the special train given the numbers travelling.”

No one at Norwich City was available for comment last night.

Were you on the trains to and from Peterborough yesterday? What did you think of the service? Leave your comments below or email mark.shields@archant.co.uk

54 comments

  • You obviously dont use the train very often then Yellow blood If you did you would know that whilst seats are reserved up to a limit, tickets are sold for trains without limit and do not guarantee a seat. Anyone who uses the East Coast line on a regular basis at peak times will know the joys of standing for miles. It is unrealistic to expect a rail company to find a large number of carriages out of the blue for a one off event, although it might be reasonable to expect a little more slack in the system this would only put up fares for regular travellers. Coaches contracted for an event are sold on a seat basis-this just doesnt apply to trains. Which is just as well-in other countries where it is impossible to travel on some trains without a seat reservation one can be left unable to travel unless plans are made a long time in advance. This just sounds like a lot of people who rarely use the train having a moan.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Feeble excuse from East Midlands Trains. Plenty of spare stock at Derby at the weekend from the SheffieldLeicesterNottinghamLondon services. Just takes an effort to get it in place. Still we are only football supporters.

    Report this comment

    Sweeney

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • Booked train tickets for 9.57 depart and the return from Peterborough at 7.40. Ended up leaving norwich at 10.55 via coach. And returned on the most packed train i have ever been on in any country. No toilet on board, and was told by the very grumpy driver we were lucky to be on a train, as he then told us to move up the carriage which was physically impossible. Rude staff, poor planning & unhelpful police spoiled a good day.

    Report this comment

    JonnyBeGood

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • So, incompetent, grumpy train staff, unhelpful police and Daisy Roots showing their standard prejudice against football fans, what else is new?

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Travel on French or German railways and experience how a railway should be run! They have a sense of national pride in their railways,here we quite rightly regard them as a national joke,an expensive embarrassment only to be used when no other transport is available!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Thank you for your comments Daisy. I use the train to commute to London every day so am well versed in the issue of overcrowded trains HOWEVER it is usually a lot less of an issue than the train experienced on Saturday. The 2 carriages were totally full with no or extremely little chance of moving around the carriage all the way from Norwich to Peterborough. I was one of the lucky ones in that I managed to get a seat. If you were wanting to catch the train I was on 10.57 and were at Thetford or Ely (as some people were), there was no chance of getting on the train. My sympathies were with them and also the lady that was travelling with her two young children that had to share her carriage and space with the football fans. It wouldn't be difficult to monitor the number of tickets pre-sold and to be prepared to increase the number of the carriages per train. They found extra stock to put on a football special (which was some time after a number of the scheduled traintickets would have been purchased) so were aware of the demand. Also cannot people "have a moan"? The service was not acceptable not just for football fans but anyone travelling on that route on Saturday.

    Report this comment

    Yellow Blood

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Greater Anglia enjoyed taking the money but do not count how many tickets sold....BIG JOKE

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Why thank you Peter Griffin Your comment and the origin of your nom de plume confirm some of my suspicions about some football fans. The question is, where is your beloved NCFC in organising transport for their away fans?

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • It is not just footie specials-- The railway companies do it the whole time. Try to get on a train when Uni students are going back-- total mayhem!!!! 3coaches to Peterborough and 300 students. Rail managers do'nt know, do'nt care.

    Report this comment

    Mutford Mutt

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Perhaps Greater Anglia and East Midlands train staff could spend a few weeks in Germany learning how to run a train service! or better still perhaps the Germans could come here and sort out our entire transport network!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Daisy, you are clearly a seasoned rail traveller. Could you clear up a little confusion for me please? You feel sorry for the "regular travellers" on the train, just how many regular travellers do you get on a train going from Norwich to Peterborough on a Saturday morning? Also, exactly what rock concerts would expect such a large number of people going from one town, say Norwich to another, say Peterborough? Sorry to display ignorance but it seems to match your ignorance with your remark about people's beloved football team should have arranged transport.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Daisy, NCFC do organise transport, but being in a free country some people prefer to make seperate travel arrangements and times. The issue here is that it was no surprise how many people were going by train, the operator had time to get stock to Norwich to cope with the demand. This is all due to privatisation, run for profit, not service. Unfortunately us football fans seem to get used to being herded around.

    Report this comment

    CanaryCitizen

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Looks no different to the commuter trains running south out of London every day.

    Report this comment

    Hoohaa

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • Now they know how the Man Utd plastics from Yarmouth are treated.

    Report this comment

    getreal

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • Totally agree with you Daisy, feel sorry for the regular users of this service who would have had to endure this nightmare journey on Saturday

    Report this comment

    norfolko

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • fans who should have caught the special due to depart at 1110 ish decided to board the 1057 instead, as the the special was a "dry train "

    Report this comment

    mobbsy

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • I bought a ticket for the train and was told by two members of staff I could board any train. Not the case.Told by staff in station the only way to get to the game was on the bus. I did not want to travel by bus and was told that we would still be here at midday. When we arrived at the station and were offered the bus they obviously new they had sold more tickets than they had seats. Cost me £19.60 for train ticket and £16.00 in taxi's only to go home and travel by car.We have all been robbed. Reading other comment's about overcrowding maybe the H.S.E. should look into this issue and trading standards about miss selling tickets.

    Report this comment

    Addo

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • I wonder how the X1 bus , Norwich to Peterborough , got on ? Every half hour , lot cheaper than train , but they don`t allow standing , I believe .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • Cattle trucks are about right for many travelling NCFC supporters. Numpties. A bit unfair on cattle, that.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • Should have gone on the cabbage coaches, only £11 and loads of room. Daisy, it is something other than commercially motivated entertainment (big words for you). Its a chance for husbands to get away from nagging women like you.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • My sympathies rest rather with the regular travellers on this service.Those going off to rock concerts or other entertainments en masse where there is a limited time slot for travel don't whine about the railway not putting on extra services or carriages, they make arrangements with coach companies. Only football fans expect to be treated like special cases-they seem to have this strange idea that football is something other than a commercially motivated entertainment.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • office of rail regulation's view on train overcrowding: There is no legal limit on the number of passengers that can travel in any given train coach as trains differ from other modes of transport – most notably buses and aeroplanes because of the heavy engineering design involved. This permits trains to operate effectively and safely even when fully loaded to maximum capacity. so no dont complain to the HSE, or the DFT or your MP. it aint recognised as a problem. you big football loving softies.

    Report this comment

    itsme73

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • http:www.rail-reg.gov.ukservershownav.1335 There is no legal limit on the number of passengers that can travel in any given train coach as trains differ from other modes of transport – most notably buses and aeroplanes because of the heavy engineering design involved. This permits trains to operate effectively and safely even when fully loaded to maximum capacity.

    Report this comment

    itsme73

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • The second picture clearly shows an empty seat !!

    Report this comment

    expat

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Should of put some cattle rolling stock on, would plenty of good enough, why are Norwich fans moaning about standing up on the trains ?they always seem to stand up at Carrow Road when they are supposed to be sitting !!!

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • Its a shame the two photos in the article are from return trains...you can see the darkness and reflections in the windows. They are also far less crowded then the 9-57am train that we took out from Norwich in the morning. As the majority of tickets for the trains on this service were bought well in advance (bought ours on 7th December) East Midland Trains would of had a very good idea of the numbers travelling, smacks of profiteering, and as a previous poster stated they do the same when the students from Liverpool, Nottingham etc return to East Anglia. Think its just your typical share holder driven private company putting share-holders and profits above the customer. Now with fares going up on all train companies in the near future we may all be forced to use alternative travel arrangements.

    Report this comment

    last2end

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • expat - don't know which seat you are referring to as being empty but if it's the one in the foreground then there appears to be a shoulder visible between the seat and the window? David Mason - Hardly relevant to their complaints. People didn't mind the fact they had to stand, it was the overcrowding and that the trains were not adequate for the number of people travelling on Saturday.

    Report this comment

    Yellow Blood

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Totally agree with you Daisy, feel sorry for the regular users of this service who would have had to endure this nightmare journey on Saturday

    Report this comment

    norfolko

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • plenty of spare stock at derby. train crew at norwich only sign 158s 150s and 153s, thanking you to note

    Report this comment

    mobbsy

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  • Cant believe the horrible things people can say about football supporters,dont class everbody the same.They are as entitled to use the trains just like anyone else!

    Report this comment

    foxey

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • I wonder if these people complaining about the train are the same ones who were standing in the seated areas at the ground and blocking the view of people who didn't want to, or couldn't stand for the whole game???

    Report this comment

    David Mason

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • moan, whinge etc. if you live in essex you would stand ever day on your 1.5 hour commute by train and tube. these are grown men whinging having paid a tenner to travel. I notice that a female passenger is standing while the fans next to her are seated. What gentlemen.

    Report this comment

    itsme73

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Daisy, you are clearly a seasoned rail traveller. Could you clear up a little confusion for me please? You feel sorry for the "regular travellers" on the train, just how many regular travellers do you get on a train going from Norwich to Peterborough on a Saturday morning? Also, exactly what rock concerts would expect such a large number of people going from one town, say Norwich to another, say Peterborough? Sorry to display ignorance but it seems to match your ignorance with your remark about people's beloved football team should have arranged transport.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • I wonder if these people complaining about the train are the same ones who were standing in the seated areas at the ground and blocking the view of people who didn't want to, or couldn't stand for the whole game???

    Report this comment

    David Mason

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • cannot believe peter griffin's comment. i have travelled on your so-called 'cabbage coach'. the people who travel on this coach are disabled people who need extra room when travelling. to call them cabbages is certainly the lowest of lows and not expected from a fellow city fan. i hope 1 day you dont need to use this coach.....you never know.

    Report this comment

    canaryboy71

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Yellow Blood - the article clearly states fans complaining about having to stand up on the trains - "Furious Norwich City fans have hit out after transport chaos forced them to stand on overcrowded trains to get to their team’s FA Cup tie at Peterborough." I agree this is unacceptable in 2013.....however, equally unacceptable is blocking paying fans views of the game in a seated area - and my point was that those not happy about standing on the train, may, ironically have been those refusing to sit at the game..... I agree that the train service is a shambles between the 2 cities though - especially on a matchday

    Report this comment

    David Mason

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  • dave 123 , what an arrogant *** you are! get a life

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Daisy, NCFC do organise transport, but being in a free country some people prefer to make seperate travel arrangements and times. The issue here is that it was no surprise how many people were going by train, the operator had time to get stock to Norwich to cope with the demand. This is all due to privatisation, run for profit, not service. Unfortunately us football fans seem to get used to being herded around.

    Report this comment

    CanaryCitizen

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • dave123 - Please be nice in your comments. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • "2013 and not 1983" um yeah.. 2013 has all seater staduims shame you don't use them !!! .. Everybody knows what the Norwich to London line is like so why would you expect the Norwich to Peterborough line to be any better? and there wouldn;t be as many carriages as on the Norwich to London line, if you don;t like the service don't use it, quite simple.. !!! don't use it knowing what its like then moan ... ffs ..

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Terrible way to treat people who are so loyal to their team,spending lots of money supporting their team,they shouldnt be treated like second class citizens,some people comment on things and just have no idea so are better to button up,unless you where there and experienced this how can you start to comment and put people down just because they support their football team?Its a waste of space comment,and just winds people up so why bother!!!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    foxey

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • There's no point in the train company saying that they did this, that or the other. the bottom line is whatever they did, it wasn't good enough. I wonder if the Mid-Norfolk Railway could do chartered diesel trains from Norich to away matches?

    Report this comment

    LLCK

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  • OH dear got to careful here when going back to BR days but because they had stocks of spare coaches, not profitable in these days, they used to run weekly football specials during the season which were advertised, including in previous weeks club programme, so they were know about and therefore booked. Todays privatised railway does not allow for that.

    Report this comment

    linkyyork

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Sounds like a typical British Rail cock up-back in the good ol' days the train was 13 Carriages long and 3 class 31's up front hauling out of Norwich on the PeterboroughBirmingham New Street run-days long gone.

    Report this comment

    Colin James Watling

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • BT pc at Ely said, “Tough” (from Twitter). Hardly surprising, they are a cross between a PCSO and a pleb. And these uniformed morons expect respect???

    Report this comment

    Urbancommander

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • There must be a safety implication in overloading trains like this. They presumably are not designed to have passengers crammed into them in this manner, in the same way buses are not. As surely trains like buses are only designed to carry a certain number of passengers in safety. I know that the rail operators are probably the ones who set the safety standards in their own industry. Unlike with road transport, but overloading like this must present the HSE with opportunities to question if the rail industry is taking passenger safety as seriously as it should.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • My partner and I are travelling upto Manchester in March (probably on a Sat!) Better check the football fixtures, as it is costing me £100+ return - so I shall expect at least seats, especially if they are PRE-BOOkED, and I can kick-up a stink, if required. Does that answer those critics, about Sat travel?

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Football supporters deserve to be treated like this, normal people who need to travel for any reason by train on a match day do not. Football supporters pollute the train system like a plague of rats that has lost it's pied piper and should either learn to drive (or in Norwich's case, walk) or go on dedicated coaches that would prevent the general public from having to suffer them.

    Report this comment

    clive hill

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Good to know that the massive amount of money, over 4 billion pounds in subsidies paid by the taxpayer to finance our "privatised" rail companies is not going to waste.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • Q: did anyone miss the match because of a late or broken down train? No. A: the train company got you there for a bargain fare and organised a special service! but still they moan.. (cos they couldnt take the lager on the special by the sounds of it)

    Report this comment

    itsme73

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • We travelled on the 11.57 a.m. train from Norwich. Train was clean, comfortable and there were plenty of seats. Arrived in Peterborough at 1.30 p.m. which left plenty of time to have something to eat and drink and walk to London Road.

    Report this comment

    Mr. B

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • They were taking the bookings for the 9.57 and 10.57 trains yet didn't have the capacity for the number of tickets sold. Disgraceful. If people going to rock concerts or other entertainments got to their place of departure to find their coach train had been overbooked then I'm sure they would have the right to complain.

    Report this comment

    Yellow Blood

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • Cattle trucks are about right for many travelling NCFC supporters. Numpties. A bit unfair on cattle, that.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

  • Booked train tickets for 9.57 depart and the return from Peterborough at 7.40. Ended up leaving norwich at 10.55 via coach. And returned on the most packed train i have ever been on in any country. No toilet on board, and was told by the very grumpy driver we were lucky to be on a train, as he then told us to move up the carriage which was physically impossible. Rude staff, poor planning & unhelpful police spoiled a good day.

    Report this comment

    JonnyBeGood

    Monday, January 7, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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