Who are we?
The Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers' Association - OPSTA - is the rail user group for West Lancashire's railways using the traditional boundaries described by Preston, Wigan and Liverpool.

We are a non political group that campaigns for the retention, improvement and development of the railway links between Liverpool and Preston via Ormskirk, and from Southport and Kirkby to Manchester via Wigan. 

If you find that we share common aims please join us or follow us here and on twitter @opsta15. Don't hesitate from contacting us with a query, suggestion or feedback.

Fare Collection - Rail users can assist by emailing their observations and experiences to opstafare@gmail.com.

Train Timetables from May 2018 (to follow - see update centre panel)

Ormskirk-Preston a revised temporary timetable will run from 30th July until September 

Southport & Kirkby-Manchester  you are still advised to check online before travel



If you want to take action, provide feedback or go on our mailing list then please email opstasurveys@gmail.com stating your travel experience and service of interest. Or you can:

Sign this petition started by the well reputed northern journalist Jennifer Williams "Prime Minister : End the northern rail nightmare. Give us the powerhouse you promised". The goal is to reach 25,000 signatures. You can read more and should you wish sign the petition here

Have a look at the WHICH consumer group #TrainPain campaign here:  https://campaigns.which.co.uk/train-hell-rail-passengers/ and take their one question survey .https://whichcouk.bsd.net/page/s/rail-passenger-charter

If you have suffered a journey delay of more than 30 minutes then you may get compensation if you apply through Northern's DelayRepay scheme


Current Service Issues and Campaign Updates for Our Services

Preston - Ormskirk (update 16/9/18)

Since Northern very nearly returned to its hourly train schedule on a permanent basis - the only service not operated by train is the 11.26 departure from Preston and the return from Ormskirk - the service has been dreadful with numerous cancellations and poor punctuality.

OPSTA has been pressing Northern on why the service has been so abysmal in recent weeks and what steps they are taking to improve.

In response Northern stated that in the last 4 weeks the majority of cancellations were down to infrastructure failure with 40% attributable to unavailability of traincrew or a train unit. Northern has claimed actions are being taken to bring about an improved service. 

From Monday (17th) a new traincrew roster/link comes into effect and this has been designed to optimise performance and minimise all traincrew related cancellations for all Lancashire routes. We will of course be monitoring closely as ever.

We continue to monitor all services. There will be much more on this in the forthcoming newsletter including a full analysis and assessment (see our membership page if interested).

Southport – Manchester (update 27/8/18)

OPSTA met with Northern last week. Not much in the following update will surprise you but hopefully you will agree there is some good news.

As some of you may have read in local press, we have a big push now with all of the stakeholders (MPs, Mayors, transport and local authorities) to impress upon DfT and Transport for the North (TFN) that they must commit to a full service.

Opening Statements by Northern/ Context

The whole rail sector has rolled its plans back 6 months: December will see very few changes, all operators' aspirations for May '19 have been stated (because they were their original bids for December) and plans for May '19 are now December '19.

While re-iterating its commitment to restoration of service they think the earliest would be Dec '19 and subject to business case and agreement with the “client” (meaning TFN).

It was good to hear the Merseytravel Rail Officer (also in attendance) state emphatically that the City Region

expects no less than a full Piccadilly service at the earliest opportunity – there is a shared concern this will drift ever backwards and believe commitment to May ’19 must be secured.

Northern and its present Recovery Plan

TFN has just signed off the September timetable (tba this week) which will see restoration of most services including on Kirkby and Ormskirk, and "all Blackburn - Southport services".

With current service performance still being well below acceptable, as Northern conceded "on all lines", what has/ is changing?

And Some Good News in the December timetable

Northern has secured agreement with Network Rail for an 08.17 Southport-Piccadilly and the 16.18 from Picc (calling at Oxford Rd but not Deansgate) will extend to Southport. But no more on the other commuting priorities, e.g a Victoria service between 17.00 and 17.30 or a post 19.00 from Picc.