Paddington Station 24/7:  The perfect match – Network Rail and British Transport Police team up to help thousands of football fans travelling through London Paddington: Graeme Parker in the London Paddington control room

Monday 30 Apr 2018

Paddington Station 24/7: The perfect match – Network Rail and British Transport Police team up to help thousands of football fans travelling through London Paddington

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The second series of the behind the scenes documentary Paddington Station 24/7 continues on Monday 30 April, with an influx of football fans travelling through the station on their way to watch their respective teams, looked after by Network Rail station staff and over 30 police officers who have been drafted in to make sure everything runs without a hitch.

The eight-part first series achieved a consistently high audience share for the Monday 9pm slot, averaging 1.3 million viewers per episode. Series two is already proving to be a big hit, with 1.96 million people watching the second episode either on TV or via the My5 catch-up app. The series follows railway workers on the Great Western Mainline as they deal with the biggest modernisation of the line for generations, major incidents which are causing disruption on the railway, huge sporting events, as well as the day-to-day challenge of running one of Britain’s busiest stations.

This week in episode six, 1,100 Millwall fans head to Reading on services leaving Paddington, as followers of Oxford United are travelling to the capital for a match against Charlton Athletic. Platform and Control Room staff are on hand to assist should anyone require help or information, and over 30 officers from the British Transport and Metropolitan police forces are patrolling London Paddington to reassure the travelling public and deter anyone from causing trouble.

As thousands of football fans descend upon the station, staff in the Paddington Control Room are closely monitoring the situation. Station control assistant Graeme Parker explains:

“At Paddington, Network Rail customer service assistants often help out with crowd control. In situations of rowdy football fans, Network Rail staff have the very welcome assistance of London’s finest – the British Transport Police.

Quite often a large amount of football fans can make the train journey very noisy and uncomfortable for the other passengers on-board. In this case, with Oxford and Millwall fans passing through the station and so many others travelling, the affected trains were leaving Paddington completely full, with passengers standing in the aisles.

Our colleagues at Great Western Railway use radio communication to keep Network Rail Control Room staff advised of just how full each of the trains are when they’re preparing to leave the station. Control Room staff also have regular radio communication with the Transport Police to ensure everyone can complete their journey safely, whilst the football fans can make it to the match on time”

On this occasion, the Millwall and Oxford United fans ended the day happy, after both teams secured a victory in their respective matches. With the help of over 30 police officers and GWR staff, Graeme and his Network Rail colleagues also finished their shift in good spirits, as thousands of football fans and rail passengers travelled through Paddington and completed their journeys safely thanks to the hard work and dedication of all station staff.

The sixth episode of Paddington Station 24/7 will be aired on Monday 30 April on Channel 5 at 9pm, with each subsequent episode shown on Monday evenings at the same time.

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