Railway works put on hold for Sunderland fans travelling to Wembley

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THOUSANDS of Sunderland fans descending on Wembley for their team’s first major cup final in 22 years could avoid travel chaos after planned railway works were rearranged by transport chiefs.

Engineering works are set to take place on the East Coast mainline across the weekend of Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2, with the Wearsiders taking on Manchester City in the capital on the Sunday.

Network Rail has now said it has re-planned some of the works and operator East Coast trains says it has been working with the organisation to put on extra services.

Sunderland have been allocated more than 31,000 tickets for the Capital One Cup final, in which the club will attempt to win its first major trophy since 1973.

Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Moving engineering work is not a simple undertaking but we know what a big occasion this is for the club and have worked hard with operators and the Football Association to get fans to the capital by rail.

“The decision to re-plan some of our engineering work was only taken after meticulous checks that we could do so safely, without impacting train performance on the East Coast Main Line.”

Mr Verster added: “The renewal of a major junction at Colton, south of York has been re-planned for the summer. We have also re-timed track renewals at Templehirst.”

l What are your plans for cup final day? Contact the Echo newsdesk on 501 7208 or email echo.news@jpress.co.uk