Record train numbers expected for German Market
More than 200,000 people a day are set to pass through Birmingham's New Street station over the festive period.
Last year a record 230,000 people used the station on the first Saturday after the famous German market opened, a figure which is expected to be beaten after the attraction opens on Thursday.
Network Rail have advised passengers to allow for extra rime and plan their journeys carefully, while revealing that extra staff will be brought in to help with demand and crowd control measures may be in use at peak times.
Patrick Power, Network Rail’s station manager at Birmingham New Street, said: “The Christmas market and festive season are great for Birmingham but put significant pressure on the station to safely manage much higher passenger numbers and sudden surges of people trying to catch their train.
“While there is more than enough space to handle the expected crowds on the concourse, we have to be prepared to put queuing measures in place to get to the platform areas, should we need to.
“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.”
Phil Edwards, assistant director for transportation and connectivity at Birmingham City Council, said: “With so much going on in Birmingham during the festive period as well as a number of ongoing transport projects and developments, the city is going to be very busy.
"It is therefore important to plan your journeys and allow plenty of time for travel.
"We recommend leaving the car at home and using public transport, walking or cycling as the best options for travel.”
The Frankfurt Christmas Market, centred on Victoria Square, begins its five week festive stay in the city centre on Thursday and will be opened by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood, who will also switch on the city’s festive lights.
The Frankfurt Christmas Market – which celebrates its 18th year in the city – is organised by Birmingham City Council in partnership with Frankfurt Tourism and Congress GmBH, and sponsored by Fortem.
Concrete security barriers have been installed, following the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin last year. There will also be an increased police presence.