Wigan fans face marathon bus journeys to Grand Final on rail strike day

A Northern train
A Northern train

Thousands of rugby league fans from Wigan will face a major struggle to get to and from Saturday's Grand Final due to a rail strike.


Northern has now revealed its timetable for the industrial action on the day the Warriors face Warrington Wolves for the Super League trophy at Old Trafford in Manchester.

It confirms supporters face journeys of between 90 minutes and just over two hours on rail replacement buses to get into the city centre.

And there will be no services at all provided by Northern after the final whistle.

Other news: Minute's applause for Presley at Old Trafford Grand Final

The last rail replacement bus service leaves Manchester Victoria at 6.55pm.

To avoid being stranded in the city supporters will either have to get the guided busway back to Leigh, rely on other rail operators running services via Warrington Central, drive to the game or arrange taxis.

There are also some standard bus services running between Wigan and Manchester city centre, including those on the 33 route from Manchester Piccadilly operated by Diamond Bus North West.

Getting to the match looks like something of a headache too, with four replacement bus services departing from Wigan Wallgate each hour.

Two will be at five past the hour and the other two at 35 past.

There will be one service to Manchester Victoria and one to Salford Crescent, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly in each timeslot.

Fans should prepare for a lengthy ride, though, with the longest trip a marathon two hours and seven minutes.

Supporters coming from Bryn can get a train to Wigan North Western and then rely on the replacement buses.

Once again, though, there will be no services late enough to help fans after the game, with the last train leaving North Western at 7.21pm.

Fans heading in from the Ashton area will also be able to take advantage of a normal service on the Arriva Trains Wales route through Newton-le-Willows.

To view the full strike timetable, visit www.northernrailway.co.uk/strike

To see the bus services, visit www.tfgm.com/public-transport/bus