With thousands of Black Friday bargain hunters expected to travel in and out of Manchester by train, passengers are being advised to plan their journeys this Friday (29 November).

Last year more than 160,000 people* passed through Manchester Piccadilly station for the pre-Christmas sales – 35,000 more than a usual Friday.

With trains and platforms expected to be busier as a result – passengers are being urged to think in threes.

Network Rail’s top three travel tips are:

  • Plan your journey
  • Check before you travel at nationalrail.co.uk
  • Know the times of your trains home

This weekend, when Manchester’s Christmas markets once again coincide with Black Friday (29 November), extra staff will be on hand to help guide people through the station during busy periods.

Scott Green, Network Rail’s station manager at Manchester Piccadilly, said: “The Christmas market, Black Friday and other festive attractions are great for Manchester but means busier trains and more people on platforms and the station concourse.

“I’m urging passengers to think in threes to make travelling in and out of the city as easy as possible. Planning your journey, checking before you travel and knowing the times of your trains home will really help everyone. There will be extra staff in place across the station to provide advice and information and help keep passengers safe throughout.”

As with previous years, queuing systems may be used at exceptionally busy times to safely allow people to board their trains home.

With Christmas fast approaching people are also being urged to think ahead and plan their rail journeys between 24 December and 2 January.

As part of its Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail will be carrying out improvement work across Britain between Christmas and New Year which may affect journeys.

Passengers can plan their Christmas travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk/christmas; for specific Manchester Piccadilly station information follow @NetworkRailMAN on Twitter or check with your train operator.