Following a request for clarification from The Red & White Army Supporters group, Grand Central gave the following statement relating to their trains departing from Sunderland this weekend:
On the Saturday, we’re currently anticipating around 2350 passengers, with a capacity of 2450 passenger with a moderate level of standees on each train.
We’re running an additional service on Saturday morning, departing at 0844 non-stop from Sunderland to London with 584 unreserved seats, returning on Monday at 1221 from London, again with 584 unreserved seats.
Other contingency arrangements are in place to enable passengers to make their way to London, in the event that demand in higher than expected.
Passengers will be kept up to date on arrangements by Grand Central staff, who will be present at Sunderland Station throughout the day.
On Saturday 30th, a queuing system will take place at Sunderland Station for the majority of the day. Anyone that hasn’t yet collected their tickets are advised to do so prior to Saturday 30th. Passengers without reservations will be queued to await access to each service, with a set level for each train, to avoid the potential for overcrowding.
Passengers without reservations are advised to arrive at Sunderland as early as possible and queue at the North Concourse entrance (Union Street), and should be aware that there are likely to have to wait for a significant period of time to board a GC service. Access for those passengers with reservations will be via the South Concourse (Ticket Office entrance).
We are confident that all passengers making journeys to London on Saturday will reach their intended destination, however, for anyone not holding reservations for a specific train we cannot offer any assurance as to what time they will reach London.