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.

OPSTA AGM 19th July

Our next meeting will be the AGM which this year will be held in the upstairs function room at the Hop Vine in Burscough.

As always, all welcome members and non-members.

It will be open from 19.00 for 19.30 start. 

Train Timetables will be updated on May 20th (please click the name below)


Southport & Kirkby-Manchester



Proposed Southport – Manchester Timetable from May 2018

Northern has commenced an industry consultation on its train service plan to operate from May next year when the major franchise changes are planned. At a meeting on May 8th it was agreed that the Southport-Westhoughton campaign group should engage with the travelling public and compile a response to be submitted to Northern and transport authorities for consideration.

Have your say and help us get improvements

Use this link for more detail on the new service proposition and help us get a better outcome by commenting on your travel requirements. Northern will consider an evidence based response to their consultation.

Although there may be limited scope to getting any changes at this point, Northern is fully committed to working with us on the business case for the additional two trains that will enable them to offer more direct services between Piccadilly and Southport in 2018.

Read more

Headlines on the proposed timetable and routing

As expected, no through service to Manchester Airport.

Monday-Saturday: there will be a direct service from Wigan North Western calling at Hindley, Westhoughton and Bolton to Manchester Piccadilly.

Two of these services will start from Southport (departing 6.17 and 7.17) and go via Wigan Wallgate. In the evening the 17.15 and 18.15 departures from Piccadilly will run full line-of-route through to Southport.

Deansgate: due to scheduling contention on the busy corridor to Piccadilly the calling pattern is under review for all of the above services.

With the exceptions above, all other West of Wigan services will go to Victoria. There will be 2 trains per hour during the daytime.

Sunday: all services will go Victoria.

Note this is a change to the franchise bid that had no direct services to the south side of Manchester.

Use this link for more detail on the proposed timetables.


Ormskirk-Preston Services

Northern has confirmed it will increase Monday - Saturday services to 17 a day between Preston and Ormskirk thus delivering an hourly,  timetable from May 2018.

The first service will leave Preston at 06.26 then at the same time past each hour until 22.36. Duration of the southbound journey is 30 minutes.

The first service from Ormskirk will depart at 07.01 and then at the same time past each hour until 23.01. The north bound journey is scheduled to take 31 minutes.

The train for Ormskirk will be the unit that has arrived from Colne and the train to Preston will form a Blackpool South service. Although they may not be shown in the timetable as such, it will give us through services that should reduce journey times considerably for many passengers in one direction.

Still no Sunday service. Details of the special service for this year’s Ormskirk Motorfest will be posted shortly and we continue to press for more.

OPSTA will be replying to Northern’s consultation on the timetable changes proposed and any feedback is welcome. Please e mail opstasurveys@gmail.com or use the contact details provided.

Fare Collection

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