More than a quarter of a million people use New Street in one day during busiest weekend ever.

More than a quarter of a million people used New Street on Saturday (26/11), the highest ever number to have used the station in 24 hours.

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The figure – the equivalent to the population of Wolverhampton – was an increase on the 230,000 recorded on the Saturday before.

In total, nearly 650,000 people used the station over the weekend with 242,000 on Friday; 258,000 on Saturday; and 142,000 on Sunday.

The record figures were prompted in part by Black Friday sales, the last pay day for many before Christmas, the German Market and Aston Villa playing at home. It is expected to be the busiest weekend of the year at the station.

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, Network Rail continues to urge passengers to plan their journeys and check before they travel to help make their journeys as easy as possible. When catching trains home from Birmingham New Street, it’s vital to know the times of the last few trains and not rely on the last one.

Patrick Power, Network Rail’s station manager at Birmingham New Street, said: “A quarter of a million people using the station in one day – the same as the population of Wolverhampton, Plymouth or Newcastle – is a huge figure and sets a new record for the second weekend running. Over the whole record-breaking weekend, our careful planning, extra staff and focus on safety meant passengers were able to safely catch their trains and use the station.

“New Street will continue to be very busy in the build-up to Christmas and I urge everyone who is planning to use the station to plan their journey, check before they travel and always know their last few trains.”

Phil Cavender, general manager for Virgin Trains, said: “The run up to Christmas is always an exciting and busy time. With so much to see and do in Birmingham we would encourage anyone looking to travel by train to plan ahead, leaving a bit of extra time and of course book their tickets in advance to guarantee themselves a seat and avoid any queues at the station. Our team at New Street, working closely with Network Rail, will be on hand to say hello and ensure a smooth passage through the station.”

London Midland’s West Midlands general manager, Mark Goodall, said: “We want everyone to have a good time visiting the shops and attractions this Christmas. We will be doing everything we can to help, including running extra carriages on the Snow Hill lines on the four weekends leading up to Christmas. Just remember, this is a busy time of year for everyone, so make sure you know your travel options and don’t rely on your last train home or you could be disappointed.”

Passengers are also being urged to think ahead and plan their journeys if they will be travelling over Christmas. As part of its Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail will be carrying out a significant amount of 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.

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