Rugby fans travelling to Manchester for the First Utility Super League Grand Final on Saturday are being reminded to plan their journey and allow extra time to catch their train home.
The match between Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves kicks off at 6pm at Old Trafford and over 45,000 fans, many travelling by train, are expected to attend.
This means stations across Manchester are likely to be busy before and after the match and fans are being urged to plan their journey and not rely on last train services to get home.
Queuing systems will be in place at Manchester Piccadilly station from 7.30pm to ensure passengers can safely make their journeys, with Network Rail volunteers on hand to assist.
Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail, said: "Manchester Piccadilly and other stations will be significantly busier this Saturday evening as fans make their way to and from Old Trafford. Passengers and fans should allow extra time to catch their train and not rely on the last train as they may have to queue to get on it. Please plan your journey and know your last few trains to avoid any disappointment.”
Mark Foster, Super League General Manager, said: “Saturday night is going to be another amazing Rugby League event and we want to ensure that fans have a great experience therefore we are working with all partners so that from the moment you start your journey to the minute you get home your day is as enjoyable as possible.”
Northern will be providing additional services for the big game between Manchester and both Wigan and Warrington after the game, as well as shuttle services from Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester United Football Ground station. Where possible, there will also be extra carriages on services in the area throughout the day.
Fans travelling back to Wigan are being advised of an hourly service from Manchester Victoria as well as Manchester Piccadilly.
Liam Sumpter, regional director for Northern, added: “We are working hard to provide additional capacity for rugby fans travelling to the Manchester area this Saturday, particularly for those travelling to and from the game. We hope the fans enjoy the game and have a safe journey home.”
Transpennine Express will also be providing additional services, offering more than 1,000 extra seats on the day.
Billy Vickers, TPE Group Stations Manager Manchester Hub, said: “We are pleased to welcome customers into Manchester this Saturday and hope everyone has a brilliant time. We are expecting our services to be incredibly busy this weekend due to the popularity of the events taking place and are urging customers to check before and allow extra time to travel.”
Passengers should also note that there will be no trains between Bolton and Preston on the day of the game due to engineering work, with a rail replacement service in operation. Deansgate station in Manchester will also be closed from 18:00 but all other central Manchester stations will be open.
Passengers can check www.nationalrail.co.uk for travel information.
Manchester Victoria to Wigan Wallgate 19:35, 20:35, 21:35 and 22:35
Manchester Piccadilly to Wigan Wallgate 20:20, 21:20, 22:36, 22:50
Manchester Piccadilly to Warrington Central 19:37, 20:07, 20:37, 21:07, 21:40, 22:07 and 23:07
Manchester Piccadilly to Warrington Bank Quay 19:51, 20:50, 21:51, 22:26 and 23:14
Manchester Victoria to Wigan North Western 21:45 and 23:10
Manchester Oxford Road to Huyton 21:01
Manchester Oxford Road to Warrington Central 22:16
Manchester Piccadilly to Liverpool Lime Street 22:40
Old Trafford shuttles:
Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester United Football Ground 16:28, 17:03 and 17:33
Manchester United Football Ground to Manchester Piccadilly 20:07, 20:44 and 21:13