Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys with bumper numbers of savvy shoppers expected to travel by rail into Birmingham for Black Friday deals in three days’ time.

Last year more than quarter of a million people* passed through Birmingham New Street station for the pre-Christmas sales – 80,000 more than a usual Friday.

With trains and platforms expected to be busier as a result – passengers are being urged to think in threes if planning on heading into the second-city by train.

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 the market once again coincides with Black Friday (29 November), extra staff will be on hand to help guide people through the station during busy periods.

Patrick Power, Network Rail’s station manager at Birmingham New Street, said: “The Christmas market, Black Friday and festive attractions are great for Birmingham 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.

This weekend ongoing Saturday strike action by the RMT on West Midlands and London Northwestern Railways, will once again mean reduced services. It will mean other operators’ trains will be busier than usual.

For information on how the strikes may impact on your journey visit www.wmr.uk/industrialaction or www.lnr.uk/industrialaction.

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 Birmingham New Street station information follow @NetworkRailBHM on Twitter or check with your train operator.