Birmingham’s famous Frankfurt Christmas market opens this week and with record numbers expected to travel in and out of the city by train, passengers are being urged to plan their journeys.

The Frankfurt Christmas market opens on Thursday (15 November) and Network Rail is advising those travelling by train to allow extra time for their journeys.

Millions of people are expected to visit Birmingham during the event’s five week run until 23 December, with many using the railway to travel.

Last year a record 231,000 people used Birmingham New Street station on the first Saturday after the market opened, and while the stalls are a great addition to the city, it can mean trains and platforms are much busier.

For that reason, passengers are advised to leave plenty of time to make their journeys, know their last few trains and check before they travel. As with previous years, queuing systems may be used at exceptionally busy times to safely allow people to board their trains home.

Patrick Power, Network Rail’s station manager at Birmingham New Street, said: “The Christmas market and festive season are great for Birmingham but marks the busiest time of the year for Birmingham New Street station.

“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.”

Passengers are also being urged to think ahead and plan their journeys if they will be using the rail network over Christmas.

As part of its Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail will be carrying out improvement work across Britain between 24 December and 2 January which may affect journeys.

Passengers can plan their Christmas travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk/christmas; for specific Birmingham New Street station information follow @NetworkRailBHM or check with your train operator.