Friday 7 June 2024

Chiltern Railways tell Brent Council they have insufficient rail stock or staff capacity to support the proposed increase in events at Wembley Stadium


Wembley Stadium's bid to increase the number of events at the stadium  LINK has encountered opposition from a significant public transport provider. In a letter to Brent Council Chiltern Railways say the not not have sufficient rail stock or staff capacity to cater for more events. They say other services they provide are already hit on event days.

The new Wembley Station was originally designated a 'public transport destination'.


This is the Chiltern Railways letter:


Planning REF: 24/1329

Dear Brent Council Planning Authority,


On behalf of Chiltern Railways, who operate services to London, Birmingham and Oxford via Wembley Stadium station we wanted to object to the proposed application for 9 additional events to be held at Wembley Stadium each year.

As the key mainline rail operator operating Wembley Stadium Station, we carry between 8 and 12% of customer flows for Wembley events including major football fixtures and summer concerts. Whilst we are supportive of the positive impact Wembley events have for local economic activity, Chiltern Railways does not currently have enough available rolling stock and associated colleagues to deliver the current cap of 24 sporting events and 22 non-sporting events each year.

At present for Wembley major events impacting our route including recent examples of the Champions League Final on the 1 June 2024 and League One Play Off Final on Saturday 18 May 2024 Chiltern have had to remove services off other sections of our network to deliver enough capacity to safely serve Wembley Stadium. This is having an ongoing negative affect on Chiltern Railways reputation and is negatively impacting our customer and stakeholder relationships on other routes.

If the event cap is extended by a further 9 events, in order to protect our customer base and stakeholder relationships on our wider network, Chiltern Railways will have to take the difficult decision to not serve each and every Wembley event. This will put additional pressure on other transport modes including London Underground, road and bus links to Wembley Stadium.

Chiltern have applied to the Department for Transport for additional rolling stock for the Chiltern Mainline which would enable us to deliver the required capacity for the future growth of events at Wembley Stadium. Following the General Election we expect that the new Secretary of State for Transport would be in position to make a final decision on these proposals in December 2024. As such the earliest that new rolling stock could be introduced is late 2025. We will also need to get signoff from the Department for Transport to increase our colleague numbers in order to operate additional services.

In conclusion, whilst we currently support the delivery of major events at Wembley Stadium, as the key mainline rail operator we do not currently have any additional rolling stock capacity to meet the proposed extension in the events cap.

To protect our customer and stakeholder reputation across the wider Chiltern Railways network, we are likely to be in a position where we cannot safely serve each and every Wembley event with mainline rail services. We are continuing to advocate for additional rolling stock to the Department for Transport and would ask Brent Council, Wembley Stadium and The Football Association to support these plans to enable us to serve additional Wembley events in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Zach Bailey

Regional Growth Manager

Chiltern Railways


Anonymous said...

Let's hope that TFL also object!

Anonymous said...

Well done Chiltern. Rail.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Well said

Anonymous said...

Is chiltern public or privately owned?

Jaine Lunn said...

Have I got this right. Chiltern Railways are currently struggling to provide the extra capacity required to service fans attending major events at the Stadium with both staff and extra trains. This is causing issues with their normal provision of public transport across the Chiltern network.

So they are informing Department of Transport, Brent Council, Wembley Stadium, the FA etc they cannot continue to do this safely unless they have more Rolling stock, and more Staff to cover these extra 8 events should they be required.

The solution to me is simple, hire more staff and hire more Trains and carriages (Rolling Stock), on the days they required, after all you are not providing this service for free!, and i'm sure the FA and Concert promoters would put their hands in their pockets to help if need be.

Jaine Lunn said...

As a public Transport destination, why is it necessary to completely suspend the 206 Bus route around Wembley and divert the 83,92,182 etc.

Anonymous said...

Seriously Jaine! Your comment shows very poor understanding of how train services are run and the safety standards required.

Also it's not just the train services that can't cope - what about the police, Brent Council PSPO Enforcement Officers and Brent Council Traffic Wardens? They can't cope with all these events either and on 'major' event days it's other parts of Wembley and Brent that end up totally neglected coz everyone is dealing with issues around the stadium.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, Brent can't cope with yet more full scale event days, the standard 50k event days already bring the area to a stand still, 50k plus crowds are a nightmare and it is the residents who suffer while Wembley Stadium make shedloads of money. Butt then that's what Bent is becoming, a money maker for large businesses that contribute nothing to the ordinary residents, yet make their life a misery.

Anonymous said...

Residents who bought near Wembley knew it was a national stadium that held events. That was part and parcel of living there so the complaining is disingenuous.

Anonymous said...

The people who have to clean up all the mess after each event - paid for from our council tax -surely can't cope either!

Wembkey Park gets spruced up but other areas in Brent suffer.

Non Wembley Park residents should should get a council tax reduction!

Anonymous said...

Our family has lived near Wembley Stadium since the late 1950s and it's now unbearable compared to how it used to be!!!

Wembley residents are now treated like second class citizens!!!

We can't get home from work on event days because trains are packed and buses are diverted or don't run at all or are stuck in endless traffic jams - how do the elderly, the disabled or those visiting relatives in local hospitals cope???

We can't have visitors on event days because the trains are packed, buses are diverted or don't run at all or are stuck in endless traffic jams and local pubs and restaurants are full or charging more for limited option event day menus. Some of the pubs near the stadium now even charge you £20 entry fee on event days.

We can't even sit in our gardens in the summer because we have helicopters circling overhead for HOURS on event days!!!

Also we volunteer with lots of local groups and you can't plan vital fund raising events, many of which need major advance organisation and publicity, because of late notice of event days and the parking restrictions and bus diversions.

The current cap on the number of major Wembley Stadium events should not be increased!!!

We used to be proud to live near 'Wembley Stadium' but this new Wembley Stadium is just a money grabbing monster sucking the life out of our community here in Wembley 😞

Anonymous said...

The additional costs incurred in staging large events at Wembley whether clean up, security, police, or road closures, should be paid for by Wembley Stadium Ltd and should not be costing local residents anything from our Council Tax. If that is not the case then show us the accounts, and ask WNSL to cough up the money.

Martin Francis said...

Anonymous 9th June 00.01 I think your letter deserves a wider audience. Camn I publish separately as a Letter to the Editor?

Anonymous said...

From 'Anonymous 9th June 00.01' - sure that's fine to publish as a Letter to the Editor as long as I remain anonymous - thank you!