Football fans travelling by train to the Scottish Cup Final this weekend have been urged by ScotRail to plan their journeys in advance.
Rangers meet Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday, 21 May, kicking off at 3pm.
ScotRail will be adding extra carriages to as many trains as possible between Glasgow Central and Mount Florida, the closest station to Hampden Park, however, the train operator is advising supporters to leave extra time for travel as trains will be busy, and some services may be cancelled due to a shortage of train drivers.
The train operator is reliant on drivers working overtime or on their rest days because of delays to training new drivers caused by the pandemic. This is something experienced by all operators across Britain.
Following the drivers’ union ASLEF announcing it would ballot for strike action, a significant number of drivers, but not all, have declined to make themselves available for overtime or rest day working.
On Wednesday, 18 May, ScotRail announced that from Monday, 23 May, it will introduce a temporary timetable to provide customers with a level of certainty and reliability.
Fans travelling to the match on Saturday, 21 May, are being advised that queuing systems will be in place before and after the final whistle, which may include key stations across the network.
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.
The train operator will have extra staff on the ground to assist customers, and the train operator is reminding customers that the carrying and consumption of alcohol is prohibited on ScotRail services.
Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said:
“We’ll be doing all we can to help football fans head to Hampden and see who lifts the final piece of silverware this season.
“We’re adding extra carriages to services to help customers get to the game; however, trains are expected to be very busy.
"Queuing systems will be in place before and after the match so please make sure you know where to go. We have a dedicated webpage at scotrail.co.uk/sport with more information, and our staff will also be on hand to direct you.
“A current shortage of train drivers means that some services across the ScotRail network may be cancelled, so fans travelling to the match should plan ahead and purchase their return train tickets in advance to help their journey go smoothly.”