ScotRail slammed for suggesting football and rugby fans leave matches early to catch last trains home
SCOTLAND'S national rail operator has been slammed for suggesting sporting fans should leave matches early to make the last journey home on a bumper day for the country's football and rugby teams.
Gregor Townsend's men take on Georgia in their final Rugby World Cup warm up at Murrayfield at 7:30pm.
Meanwhile, Steve Clarke's side face a crunch Euro 2020 qualifier against Russia in Glasgow, with kick off at 7:45pm.
But fans travelling to Glasgow from Aberdeen for the tie were dismayed to learn the last ScotRail service from Queen Street station to the North East departs at 9:43pm - just ten minutes after the final whistle is due to blow.
Meanwhile, trains from Haymarket to Aberdeen halt after the 9:47pm service, also leaving supporters little time to make it from the stadium to the station.
Ticket sales for the Georgia clash are understood to be in the mid-50,000 range - the second highest ‘Summer Test’ attendance at BT Murrayfield following last month’s 67,500 capacity crowd for the 17-14 win over France.
Earlier this week, ScotRail encouraged fans "to allow extra time for travel" if they were attending the matches after chaotic scenes on the platform at Waverley on the final weekend of the Edinburgh Festival prompted widespread criticism.
The company also announced they were adding extra seats to services on Friday evening.
However, the announcement was met with derision, with one supporter asking whether fans would be given "jetpacks" with advance tickets to make the train home on time.
The rail operator has warned queuing systems will be in place at Glasgow Central before the football and at Mount Florida after the final whistle, as well as at Haymarket after the rugby.
Alcohol bans are also set to be enforced, with extra staff drafted in to meet demands.
A ScotRail spokesperson told The Scotsman a train run to Aberdeen after a previous match was poorly used, adding most fans from the North East had travelled to the match by coach.
The spokesperson added: "We are restricted in what extra services we can provide because of maintenance work and freight trains on the line."