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First five days sees 1.5 million travellers at Central

PASSENGER traffic through Scotland's busiest train station has tripled since the Commonwealth Games began, with 1.5 million people using Glasgow Central in the first five days.

CROWDED HOUSE: Queues at Glasgow Central.
CROWDED HOUSE: Queues at Glasgow Central.

Sports fans have been queuing round the block from the main entrance to catch trains to Hampden Park.

Monday was the station's busiest of the event so far as fans crammed onto trains to catch the 100m finals, with around 350,000 people using the station. It compared to an average daily footfall of 110,000.

Edinburgh Waverley also handled more than 240,000 visitors on Monday.

Extra staff are manning the station throughout the Games to keep passengers on the move.

David Dickson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, said: "The Commonwealth Games are a wonderful advert for all that is best about Glasgow and we are working hard to try to help keep spectators and regular commuters alike on the move.

"We are seeing unprecedented numbers of people using Glasgow Central, where our staff are striving to make sure they get the best possible experience during the Games."

Staff at Network Rail's Glasgow maintenance depot have worked an additional 1560 hours since Wednesday. The Network Rail helicopter has also carried out 24 sorties over the city since July 21 identifying potential faults on the line or spotting trespassers.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said the medal goldrush had been a "golden opportunity for tourism".

He added: "Attracting more visitors helps boost the economy, creating more jobs and sustaining communities. Every time visitors use a restaurant, order a drink at a bar or buy a souvenir cuddly Clyde, they are contributing to the economy. This has been a summer of many memorable moments and I'm confident the feel-good factor of the Games will continue for several weeks to come."

More than 200,000 spectators and visitors are expected to make around an additional 400,000 journeys today. Central, Queen Street, Mount Florida and the Exhibition Centre stations are expected to be the busiest.

Today is also the first day of diving at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, which will increase demands on transport links into the capital. The venue, in Newington, will hold two diving sessions today, from 10am to 12.45 and again from 6pm to 8.45pm.

Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games Shona Robison said: "Glasgow Central alone has had the equivalent of the entire population of Glasgow pass through it this weekend.

"With so many people in Glasgow to enjoy the Games, the residents, businesses and visitors to the city should continue to bear in mind the transport networks will be extremely busy and I encourage everyone to leave extra time to travel."

Halfway point statistics issued by Glasgow 2014 organisers revealed that 1.2m tickets have been sold so far, making Glasgow 2014 the most successful sports event ever held in Scotland.

Glasgow 2014's Rugby Sevens competition, which saw South Africa beat New Zealand, attracted world record-breaking Sevens audiences to Ibrox Stadium over the two-day competition.

Around 300,000 visitors have crowded into four "live zones", including Glasgow Green and the Kelvingrove Bandstand, since last week.

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