Birmingham’s famous Frankfurt Christmas market opens this week and passengers travelling by train are advised to plan ahead allow extra time for their journeys.
The market opens on Thursday 15 November and runs until Sunday 23 December.
West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway are advising customers to prepare for trains and stations to be busier than usual, by allowing plenty of time and planning their journey options before heading out.
Andy Camp, commercial director for the two train operators, said: “Travelling by train is a great way to get to and from the city centre during the festive season. Trains and stations will be busier than usual over the next five weeks, so there may be queuing systems in place at Birmingham Snow Hill and other stations. These will help keep people moving safely through stations and onto trains.
“We advise anyone travelling to plan their journey options, allow some extra time and to make sure that they know when their last train home is departing – as we don’t want anyone to get left behind.”
Last year a record 231,000 people used Birmingham New Street station on the first Saturday after the market opened.
Patrick Power, Network Rail’s station manager at Birmingham New Street, said: “The Christmas market and festive season are great for Birmingham but marks the busiest time of the year for Birmingham New Street station.
“Our advice to passengers is allow extra time to make your train, don’t rely on your last service and check before you travel. There will be extra staff in place across the station to provide advice and information and help keep passengers safe.”
Passengers are also being urged to think ahead and plan their journeys if they will be using the rail network over Christmas.
As part of its Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail will be carrying out improvement work across Britain between 24 December and 2 January which may affect journeys.
Passengers can plan their Christmas travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk/christmas
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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