Train operators Northern and Transpennine Express, and Network Rail are working together to help people get to the shops and markets in the run-up to Christmas.

The industry recognises the importance of the festive season to the economy of the north of England and has worked in partnership to add capacity to the network. This will ensure major towns and cities receive the best possible service during the build up to the big day.

With pop-up markets taking place across the region, millions of people will be using the rail network to not only enjoy the seasonal fayre, but also to buy gifts and visit local attractions.

Through the Great North Rail Project, train operators and Network Rail are working together to make it a great Christmas for customers and businesses alike.

David Brown, Managing Director of Northern said: “We know we play a vital role in not only keeping people on the move in the build up to Christmas, but also in keeping the Yuletide economy buoyant.

“Many businesses depend on Christmas trade and we, as an industry, are committed to working in partnership to ensure that trade can get to and from our towns and cities.

“We are providing enhanced services in many areas this Christmas, including Manchester, Lincoln, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the North East, and look forward to helping our customers have a great festive season.”

Leo Goodwin, Managing Director of TransPennine Express commented: “We are committed to connecting towns and cities across the north and recognise that this creates economic prosperity.

“Christmas is a busy time on the railway and we will be working together with our industry partners to keep customers moving.”

Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route business, said: “Tens of thousands of customers in the north are seeing their rail journeys transformed by the Great North Rail Project. This is happening right now and it’s incredibly exciting.

“Access to major cities for Christmas trade is already easier for thousands of passengers and with many more rail projects reaching fruition in 2018 customers can look forward to even better journeys which will boost the economy across the North.”

Rail North Director, David Hoggarth, said: “We are working closely with both the major train operating companies in the north of England to ensure we do whatever we can to ensure the best level of rail services possible are offered to rail users as the franchises continue with the roll-out of their improvement programmes.

“We recognise the importance and value of enhanced Christmas services in supporting both passengers and the region’s Christmas economy.

“This is just one of many measure being taken to improve rail services throughout the north.”