Football fans travelling by train to the men’s Scottish Cup semi-finals this weekend have been urged by ScotRail to plan their journeys in advance.
Falkirk take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden Park on Saturday, 29 April (KO 12.15), before Celtic play Rangers on Sunday, 30 April (KO 13.30).
ScotRail is adding extra seats to as many trains as possible to help fans travel to the matches, however the train operator is advising supporters to leave extra time for travel as trains will be busy.
Two other events also take place on Saturday, 29 April, with the Pavilion Festival at Low Green in Ayr between 12.00 and 22.30, and Stereofunk 2023 at Chatelherault Country Park, also between 12.30 and 22.30.
The train operator is adding extra carriages to trains between Glasgow Central and Ayr, and between Dalmuir and Motherwell / Cumbernauld / Larkhall to support the events, though customers are encouraged to plan ahead as services will be busier than normal.
Queuing systems will be in place at stations before and after the final whistle for both Scottish Cup semi-finals, which include Glasgow Central, Mount Florida, Kings Park, and key stations across the network.
On Sunday, Rangers fans are asked to queue on the Carriage Drive off Hope Street at Glasgow Central and travel on trains to Mount Florida, while Celtic fans should queue on the main concourse for services to Kings Park.
After the match, fans are asked to return to the station promptly and join the respective queues at Mount Florida for Rangers fans, and at Kings Park for Celtic supporters.
To reduce the need to queue on the day, customers are encouraged to buy their return tickets to either Mount Florida or Kings Park in advance via the mTicket system on the ScotRail app.
Buying tickets through the mTickets system means people can buy their tickets from the comfort of their home or on the way to the station and it will instantly become available on their mobile device.
ScotRail will have extra staff on hand at key stations across the network to help customers, who are also reminded that the consumption of alcohol remains prohibited on ScotRail services and in ScotRail stations.
Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said:
“We’re preparing for a big weekend of football and festivals, with fans travelling to Glasgow to cheer on their team in the Scottish Cup semi-finals, while music lovers will be heading to the Pavilion festival in Ayr and Stereofunk in Chatelherault.
“To help the events run smoothly, we’ll be running as many trains as possible over the weekend, however, trains will be much busier than normal, so our advice to customers is to plan ahead.
“I encourage anyone travelling this weekend to allow extra time for travel, and to minimise your need to queue, buy your return tickets in advance on the ScotRail app or website.”