Eurovision added more than 90,000 extra journeys on the Merseyrail network during the seven-day song contest held in Liverpool last week.
The train operator said that the numbers were an approximate increase of 24% of the usual number expected at this time of year, with 96% of trains arriving on time.
A special strategy was put into operation across the seven days to ensure the efficient management of the large number of passengers travelling across the city region. Late night services ran on the two busiest nights, with trains running until the early hours of Sunday 14 May following the Grand Final. The final trains ran at 02:45.
The train company threw itself into the Eurovision spirit, helping to support the city region event with a specially wrapped train, public information announcements by Graham Norton, Rylan and Ukrainian singer and co-host Julia Sanina, entertainment at city centre stations and even an Abba tribute act performing at Waterloo!
Dedicated space was also given over to important initiatives to help support Ukraine. Merseyrail and Supplies for Ukraine C.I.C. partnered up to provide opportunities to buskers from Ukraine who have lost their audience due to the ongoing war.
Speakers at four city centre stations played music by Ukrainian buskers while passengers could give support via a QR code to make donations to Supplies for Ukraine, who provide lifesaving, essential equipment to civilians and volunteers on the front lines of Ukraine. Since it was established in March 2022, the organisation has impacted hundreds of Ukrainians, delivering tactical medical kits, protective gear, communication tech, drones and vehicles.
Passengers also helped raise funds by contributing spare change to the collection tins at Merseyrail stations. And city centre stations also became galleries to a photographic exhibition called Home, which aimed to support visitors and residents to connect with the daily lives of the Ukrainian people following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The powerful photographs were displayed alongside poetry at Birkenhead Central, Conway, Kirkby, Hamilton Square, James Street, Liverpool Central, and Moorfields.
The train company even created its own Eurovision song, called Train of Love, with an accompanying video featuring staff and passengers which was watched by more than 10,000 people.
Jane English, acting Managing Director of Merseyrail, said:
“All of our staff have worked so hard in the last few months to ensure that we were able to provide the best possible service for all passengers; Eurovision fans, tourists, commuters and everyone in the city region.
“The passenger numbers that we moved are huge, and a real testament to the hard work that everyone at Merseyrail has done. I’m incredibly proud of our staff.
“It wasn’t just about transport – we were also able to give people a great, fun experience thanks to the entertainment that we hosted at stations. It was important for Merseyrail, one of the highest profile companies in the Liverpool City Region, to support the Eurovision event as a whole. I’m delighted that we played our part so well.
“And thanks to the generosity of our passengers we were able to raise vital funds for Ukraine. Helping people in need is what this region does best.
“We have another huge event soon, when The Open Championship is hosted by Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Merseyrail staff are already working hard on preparations to ensure that another massive event is supported by our top-class train service.”