A rail company has been accused of “targeting” football fans after it was announced that there would be an alcohol ban on trains following the Carabao Cup final.
London North Eastern Railway (LNER) announced that trains back to Newcastle from London on Sunday (26 February) evening will be dry. It means fans returning to the north east after the Carabao Cup final will be affected.
Newcastle United are due to face Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday afternoon as the club bids to win its first domestic trophy in 67 years. But fans are feeling unfairly targeted over LNER’s alcohol policy on trains post-game.
The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) has heavily criticised the rail company over the decision to run dry services from London to Newcastle on Sunday evening.
Here is all you need to know:
When is Carabao Cup final?
The league cup final, one of the biggest competitions in England, will take place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 26 February. Manchester United will face Newcastle United and the game will kick-off at 4.30pm.
Why can’t Newcastle fans drink on return trains?
London North Eastern Railway (LNER), which operates services between Newcastle and London on the east coast line, banned alcohol on trains back from the capital on Sunday (26 February). LNER tweet read: “LNER services between Newcastle and London King’s Cross on 25 and 26 February will be very busy. Trains from London King’s Cross to Newcastle after 19:00 on 26 February will be dry trains, meaning no alcohol is permitted on these services.”
The rail company later added: “The decision has been taken in co-operation with the British Transport Police to prevent any unnecessary antisocial behaviour, fuelled by alcohol. We want fans to enjoy themselves, but not at the risk of injury to other customers or our colleagues.
“We will have additional security and Transport Police in place at London King’s Cross to assist our colleagues and manage the capacity levels on services to ensure everyone travelling with us, for football or not, gets to their destination safely and enjoys their journey.”
The FSA criticised the decision, tweeting: “We’ve long been opposed to dry trains that target football fans for just being football fans on a day out. This move from LNER for the League Cup final won’t achieve much and has completely misread the mood amongst #NUFC fans, which will be celebratory regardless.”
The dry train rule will be enforced on trains from London after 7pm on 26 February.
Are Newcastle fans allowed to drink on the way to London?
LNER’s announcement about dry trains only impacts the services back to Newcastle from the capital on Sunday evening. Trains heading down to London from the north east will allow alcohol.
Are Manchester trains also dry?
Alcohol bans will not be in place for trains from London to Manchester after the Carabao Cup final on Sunday. It is only LNER trains that will be affected.
Avanti West Coast run trains from the north west to the capital.