Contrary to premature news reports, Brighton & Hove Albion fans will be able to let the train take the strain on FA Cup semi-final day, after Network Rail postponed planned engineering works due to take place on Saturday 6th April.
The club made the request to Network Rail, Govia Thameslink and Southern Rail following Sunday’s thrilling quarter-final win over Millwall at the New Den which set up a semi-final clash with Manchester City at Wembley.
Rail bosses have cancelled scheduled works for the Saturday, which would have meant a line closure between Brighton and Three Bridges.
Albion chief executive Paul Barber commented, “After Sunday’s result, our transport manager George Hunt was quickly in contact with the various parties to make the request, and we are delighted that Network Rail, Southern and Govia have agreed.
“We are genuinely grateful to all those concerned for postponing the planned works, as we know this creates a lot of additional work and planning for the rail companies, and with that in mind we would like to place on record our thanks on behalf of the club and our supporters.
“We expect thousands to travel on trains, and our advice is to plan your journey, allow ample time to get to and from the stadium, and arrive early to enjoy the day at Wembley.”
Director of investment at Network Rail Paul Harwood, added, “We congratulate the Seagulls on reaching the semi-finals.
“This match is incredibly important, not just to so many Brighton fans, but also the wider Brighton economy, so we started planning to reschedule the work as soon as Brighton were through to the semi-finals.
“With the kick-off details confirmed yesterday afternoon, we’re now pleased to announce our decision.
“Moving the work means we can accommodate the fans, but also hold firm on our promise to complete our £67 million reliability upgrade to the Brighton main line.
“We will update passengers soon once we have confirmed a replacement date to complete the work before the summer.”