Spain vs. Italy sold out and one out of two spectators arrived by train. They’re fast, quite comfortable and free for all. Hard to imagine Gdansk authorities initially didn’t plan a railway line to the stadium – Trojmiasto.pl writes.
Sunday’s Spain-Italy game was one of four sold-out matches during Euro 2012’s first weekend and debut of Arena Gdansk in the tournament. As it turns out, the city’s rapid rail system served around 20,000 people both in and out of the stadium, being the most popular means of transport.
Ironically back in 2007 no-one even thought of using it. It wasn’t until May 2011 that Gdansk municipality and regional railway company decided to renovate unused cargo tracks running next to the stadium and build a new platform for passengers. Complete cost of 15m zloty (or €3,5m) already seems to be a real success.
First train departed Gdansk’s central station at 13:10, long 5 hours before kick-off on Sunday. Going directly to the stadium took it 6 minutes. Initially, as crowd was filling carriages up to 50%, further runs were scheduled for every 12 minutes. Later, as more people started to arrive, new train arrived every 6 minutes with specially employed stewards making sure overcrowding doesn’t happen in any part of the train.
According to opinions collected among travelers by Trojmiasto.pl, the rapid rail is very popular and well rated by tourists. Trains may not be the most modern, but they’re relatively comfortable and free of charge.