As fútbol fever grips Manchester in the run up to tonight’s showdown at Old Trafford, Metrolink passengers will get their very own Spanish lesson.
Tram bosses are rising to the Champions League challenge by providing passenger information and announcements in Spanish.
Real Madrid fans in town for the last-16 second-leg tie against Manchester United can find how to get to the match by tram on www.metrolink.co.uk and on Twitter by following @OfficialTfGM.
Lourdes Isla, from Bilbao, works for Metrolink RATP Dev Limited (MRDL) – who operate Metrolink – in the catering team at the Queens Road tram depot.
She’ll be playing for Metrolink Customer Services today, translating on-stop messages for Real Madrid fans at city centre stops in the run up to kick off and after the match.
Lou, an Atletico Bilbao supporter, said: “We hope the Real Madrid fans get a pleasant surprise today when they hear the announcements at stops within the city centre. We wanted to give them a little taste of home as they travel through Manchester, so I hope they’re happy to hear a familiar accent.
“And you never know, some of our non-Spanish speaking passengers may pick up some new phrases in the meantime as we will be using my announcements for other matches against Spanish-speaking teams.”
Susan Wildman, Communications and Customer Services Director for Transport for Greater Manchester, which owns Metrolink, said: “We want to give a warm welcome to our Spanish visitors, and make sure Real Madrid fans know the best way to get to the match – by Metrolink.
“Metrolink rises to the challenge for big events every month and, as normal, we’ll be running double trams and extra services to and from the match tonight.
“As fans will know, trams are very busy on match days so we always advise people to leave plenty of time to get to the match to make it in time for kick off.”
The Champions League tie at Old Trafford will kick off at 7.45pm tonight. Tram services on the Altrincham and Eccles lines and in the city centre will be busy from early evening. Passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journeys.
Football fans heading to the Old Trafford football ground can get off at the Old Trafford, Exchange Quay or Trafford Bar Metrolink stops and walk to the stadium. A map with suggested walking routes can be found on www.metrolink.co.uk