11th Dec, 2016

Sky Blues hope Ricoh trains will rumble down the track after 'Wasps special'

Coventry Editorial 15th Feb, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

COVENTRY City Football Club say they are hopeful of some trains for matchdays – after Ricoh owners Wasps announced the first rail services for their own games.

Premiership rugby club Wasps last week announced the first six-carriage matchday trains will stop at the newly opened Coventry Arena station on the Coventry to Nuneaton line for two forthcoming games.

They are the matches against Harlequins and Leicester Tigers.

Many football fans taking to social media were concerned there was no apparent prospect of a Coventry City train rumbling down the track – at the stadium build for the football club.

The club has rented the stadium from Wasps since the council’s sale of Arena Coventry Limited to the traditionally London-based rugby club last year.

A Coventry City spokesman said: “We’ve held discussions with Wasps over the use of the new matchday service from Coventry Train Station to the new Ricoh Arena Station.

“We’re hopeful that we can also take advantage of this practical and creative solution to the problem of transportation to the Ricoh Arena on our home matchdays. We commend Wasps for looking to address the issue and consulting us on taking part.

“We’ll continue those discussions in due course and update our supporters when possible.”

Francis Thomas, of London Midland trains, told BBC Coventry and Warwickshire: “Wasps have been great partners.

“They’ve been alongside us from the get-go when we’ve been saying we need to work with other partners to make this happen.

“They came in and said, ‘Yes, let’s do some joint marketing’,” which he added would included free tickets at the bar.

Mr Thomas added: “If you’re going to run a trial, do it where the biggest crowd is.”

Sky Blues’ attendances have this year been regularly bigger than Wasps attendances, and the rugby club’s crowds have been boosted by free tickets to schools and others.

London Midland had previously said they did not have enough diesel trains to provide additional matchday services stopping at the station which opened last month.

The Coventry to Nuneaton line upgrade – for years called Nuckle – has also suffered from continuing delays to building a new bay platform at Coventry Station, and signalling changes.