In the bleak midwinter, rail customers can look to Northern and TransPennine Express to help them have a merry Christmas.

The train operators are seeking to give customers Yuletide cheer by helping them to get to and from the Manchester Christmas Markets.

Manchester’s famous markets – possibly the largest in the country – open on Friday 10 November and the regions train operators are doing their bit to keep visitors on the move.

Northern will be adding extra trains to its Saturday timetables between Victoria and Wigan, Victoria and Rochdale, and Oxford Road and Bolton.

Liam Sumpter, Regional Director for Northern, said: “The Manchester Christmas Markets are famous across the country and bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city and region.

“We are supporting this increase in visitors with extra Saturday services and, where possible, will look to put extra carriages on most routes into Manchester each weekend during the markets.

“This has not been easy to plan, but we are determined to help continue the success of the Manchester Markets and give our customers a little Christmas spirit.”

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express said: “The Christmas markets are hugely popular with our customers who love to celebrate the season with a hot roast sandwich or cup of mulled wine.

“We want people to enjoy themselves but as our trains will be much busier, customers should plan ahead and allow extra time to travel.”

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “Year on year the Christmas Markets continue to grow and attract more visitors to Manchester and the region as a whole.

“It’s vitally important our transport links are able to cope with this extra demand, so it’s great to see rail operators recognising the need to provide additional support and taking action.”

The Manchester Christmas Markets run from Friday 10 November to Wednesday 20 December and feature more than 300 traders offering mouth-watering international food, drinks and delicately crafted Yuletide gifts.

For more information about the markets please visit the official website.