TransPennine Express (TPE) is urging customers not to travel by train over the Easter weekend - including those heading to Wembley to watch the Manchester City v Liverpool FA Cup semi-final.
Strike action by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) is due to take place on both Easter Saturday and Sunday (April 16 and 17) and will cause significant disruption to services across the north and into Scotland.
The rail operator will only be operating a limited service on these dates and is recommending customers avoid travel and make their journeys either side of the affected weekend instead.
Those attending events over the course of the weekend, including the Manchester City v Liverpool FA Cup semi-final, should plan ahead and seek alternative transport.
Major infrastructure upgrades to the West Coast Main Line over the Easter bank holiday weekend will also mean fewer trains and some bus replacements will run. More information including the Football Association’s travel advice, can be found via the Network Rail website here.
Anyone planning on using TPE services on Easter Saturday and Sunday should travel only if they absolutely have to, and are advised to plan ahead, allow extra time and check carefully before travelling as trains will be very busy and short notice changes and cancellations are likely.
Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director for TransPennine Express, said: “Easter is such a special time for many, with people making plans to see family or friends, or to enjoy a day out or trip away.
“Sadly, strike action by RMT means there will be major disruption to our services over the bank holiday weekend, and we are recommending people avoid travel on Easter Saturday and Sunday.
“With major events including the Manchester City v Liverpool FA Cup semi-final planned to take place over the affected dates, we are urging people to plan ahead and seek alternative transport.”
Further strikes by RMT are planned to take place on Sundays from April 10 up to and including June 5, and on the following weekends: April 16 and 17, Saturday April 30 and Sunday May 1, and Saturday June 4 and Sunday 5.
The latest information on the strike action can be found here. Finalised timetables showing what TPE is planning to operate over the Easter weekend will be added to this page on April 13.
The TPE network is:
North TransPennine: Including Newcastle to Manchester Airport, Redcar/Middlesbrough to Manchester Airport, Scarborough to Liverpool, Edinburgh to Liverpool, Newcastle to Edinburgh and Hull to Manchester Piccadilly
South TransPennine: From Cleethorpes via Doncaster and Sheffield to Manchester
North West and Scotland: From Liverpool and Manchester Airport to Preston, Oxenholme, Carlisle, Penrith, Edinburgh and Glasgow,
Destinations served by TransPennine Express include Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Northallerton, Thirsk, York, Malton, Scarborough, Hull, Selby, Leeds, Huddersfield, Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Meadowhall, Doncaster, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlisle, Lancaster, Preston, Redcar, Morpeth, Manchester, Manchester Airport, Liverpool, Dunbar, Reston (once opened), Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnmouth, Morpeth and Cramlington