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 times shown here are still correct and keep checking the rail websites for information on further Sunday services

Southport & Kirkby-Manchester with the operator forced to run under temporary and emergency timetables at present this link has been removed for the time being and you are advised to check the rail websites



If you want to take action

Preston - Ormskirk: there have been many cancellations lately. If you suffer a cancellation or late running on this service please email opstasurveys@gmail.com with time, date and any reason given. Don't forget you may get compensation if you apply through Northern's DelayRepay scheme.

Manchester Services: if you live in the Southport constituency please complete this short online survey for the Southport MP 
www.southportsurvey.com/survey. And if you are a Southport constituent or know people that are please do not hesitate to forward this. Note all of our local MPs are taking action on this matter.

May 2018 Timetable Changes and Current Service Issues

On 21st March Northern announced the services and timetables it has agreed with Network Rail that will come into effect in May and although the two organisations are still finalising details so nothing is absolutely certain you can use online timetable enquiries to see how your journey will be affected. Full timetables should be available online some time from May 7th but printed versions will not be available before June.

Preston - Ormskirk

An hourly service Monday – Saturday will be introduced with these timings:

First service from Preston will depart at 06.25

Trains will then depart at 26 minutes past the hour (ie 07.26, 08.26 ..) until the last service at 22.37.

First service from Ormskirk will depart at 07.01

Trains will then depart at 1 minute past the hour until the last service at 23.10 (ten past the hour).

Northern is waiting on detail of Merseyrail timetables to be revised for Maghull North (now scheduled to open on June 13th) in order to verify they connect reasonably well.

The assigned rolling stock is still the dreadful 142 Pacer although there should be more instances where it is a 2 car Class 150/156.

Still no regular Sunday services.

The frequency of cancellations on the current service is a serious concern and this is being taken up with Northern. If you have a service cancelled on you please email opstasurveys@gmail.com stating date, time and station.

Southport – Manchester

The current service is dreadful with consistently poor punctuality, many cancellations, short forming of trains and disruption of services for overrunning ‘improvement works’ (sic) and as we feared the plan is to withdraw our Southport – Airport service replaced with a Stalybridge – Wigan North Western – Alderley Edge service pattern.

There will be just two morning services from Southport, departing 06.17 and 07.17, to Alderley Edge via Piccadilly and three return services in the evening:

-     17.19 departure from Piccadilly will not call at Oxford Road but will call at Deansgate.

-     18.18 departure from Piccadilly will call at Oxford Road but will not call at Deansgate.

-     21.27 departure from Piccadilly

All other services will go through Victoria to and from Leeds and Blackburn. There will be two services from Southport to Victoria departing Southport between 06.30 and 07.00.

All services will call at Gathurst and Meols Cop.

On Sundays there will be one train per hour to/from Blackburn via Victoria.

OPSTA and the campaign will continue to fight this because there is no reason to withdraw our services this year. We will need your support.

But if this is what we get in May we have already made the case for restoration of a full 7 day Piccadilly service without detriment to the Victoria services.

The major concern is that even if we get DfT approval, Northern promises further talks but have no concept of a way forward for our services and worse, have no resource or capacity to develop a workable timetable which is undoubtedly feasible and arguably without additional trains.

Northern anticipate getting some bi mode (769) trains in the Summer but don’t know ‘given the technical’ issues. The campaign team attended a technical presentation in Derby recently which gave reason to believe they have overcome the problems encountered but everything points to the delivery of the first units into service is still many months away.

There is a real risk that once we lose the service it will be gone forever.

This is why the campaign team is taking action which included sending a letter directly to the CEO of Deutsche Bahn, the owners of Arriva Rail North (Northern). 

We are also considering a number of other courses of action. If you have suggestions, comments or other feedback please contact us.