Train firm bolsters services ahead of Tall Ships Races in Sunderland

The Tall Ships - including the Santa Maria Manuela - have started arriving in Sunderland.
The Tall Ships - including the Santa Maria Manuela - have started arriving in Sunderland.

Rail bosses are confident they are on track to ensure services are ship-shape for passengers heading to the Tall Ships Races in Sunderland.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on the city over the coming days as an international fleet of more than 80 vessels visits.

Rail franchise Northern, who is sponsoring the event, is extending its services to help visitors get to and from Sunderland.

Northern's regional director Mike Paterson said: "We are delighted to be supporting the Tall Ships, which brings so many people to the North East and demonstrates just what this region has to offer.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming new and existing customers onto our trains and helping them make the event really memorable.

“We anticipate tens of thousands of people will look to use trains to get to and from Sunderland and we are bolstering our services to make journeys as smooth as possible.

“Our trains are likely to be busy though and we advise all customers to buy their tickets in advance to help save time at stations and ticket offices.”

Northern will have a stand at the Port of Sunderland throughout the Tall Ships event to provide information, give out goodies and host games and other activities.