Super League Grand Final: Rail operators ask fans to plan ahead

Rugby league fans are being asked to plan ahead by rail operators ahead of this weekend’s Super League Grand Final.

GRAND FINAL: Fans have been asked to plan ahead by rail operates this weekend. Picture: Getty Images.

Reigning champions St Helens take on 2021 League Leaders' Shield winners Catalans Dragons at Old Trafford on Saturday with rail operators Northern and TransPennine Express warning that services to and from Manchester will be much busier than usual.

After last season's Grand Final was played behind closed doors, thousands of rugby league fans are expected to travel by train to and from Old Trafford. Despite there being no Yorkshire side competing, a number of supporters are still expected to travel from the White Rose County.

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Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The Grand Final is a fantastic occasion and, after a season sponsoring Super League, it’s great to be able to help so many fans get to and from the showpiece match.

“We will have plenty of trains operating through the day to get fans to Manchester, but there will be a limited number after the game with only four Northern trains operating from Manchester Oxford Road and three from Manchester Victoria.

“We want to make sure everyone travelling has a great day and will be putting on additional carriages where possible, but our customers need to be aware that all services after the match are likely to be extremely busy and it may be worth considering alternative routes.”

Northern has also confirmed Deansgate station will be closed to customers from 6pm and trains will not stop at the station.

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director at TransPennine Express, added: “The Grand Final is one of the biggest occasions we see every year in the north of England.

"To try to support those wishing to travel into Manchester, we have strengthened services where we can, but we’d advise customers to leave plenty of time to get to their destination and to also check before they travel.”