A record number of people used New Street Station last weekend as the Frankfurt Christmas Market kicked off the festive season in Birmingham.
A total of 230,000 people used the station on Saturday (19/11) – the highest ever recorded – eclipsing the 221,000 figure which was recorded on Friday (18/11).
With Black Friday happening at the end of this week, complemented by the last pay day for many before Christmas and other events in the city such as Aston Villa at home to Cardiff, the 230,000 figure could be broken as soon this weekend.
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 last few trains and not rely on the last one.
Patrick Power, New Street Station Manager, said: “The station was exceptionally busy over the weekend and a new record of 230,000 people using it was recorded. However, because of the huge concourse, our planning and focus on passengers’ safety, the station coped well with the increase in demand.
“With what could be the busiest weekend of the year ahead of us, I urge everyone who is planning to use the station to plan their journey, check before they travel and know their last few trains to help minimise any possible disruption.”
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.
(Images: Javier Callejas)