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Virgin Trains is warning Liverpool football fans that there are no realistic options for return train travel from London after the FA Cup Final on Saturday 5 May. Major route improvement works by Network Rail over the Bank Holiday weekend will mean extensive route closures.
Passengers from Liverpool to London on Saturday 5 May will need to travel via Manchester or Chester, or use Stoke-on-Trent station but the decision by the Football Association for a 17:15 kick-off means there are no options for fans to return north the same day after the game. With the route out of London closed on Sunday 6 May, the earliest that fans could return to Liverpool would be on Monday 7 May.
A Virgin Trains spokesman said: "We always try and help football fans get to and from matches on our network, and did this very successfully for Everton and Liverpool supporters travelling to the semi-final. However, on this occasion, as we explained to the FA, the choice of both a 17:15 kick off and the staging of the FA Cup Final on a Bank Holiday weekend when Network Rail had already planned essential route improvement works means we cannot offer fans the level of train service they have come to expect."
There are private charter trains being planned to operate with Liverpool FC’s Official Travel Partner, Thomas Cook Sport. Supporters are asked to contact Thomas Cook Sport directly or through the Liverpool FC website to gain further details. (www.thomascooksport.com or by phone on 0844 800 9900 Monday-Friday 09.00-17.30). Other charter trains with other promoters may also be arranged.