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 you have to scroll to the last page and times shown here should be correct and keep checking the rail websites for information on further Sunday services in June & July as they are yet to be uploaded.

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



The new timetables were introduced on May 20th and although printed versions will not be available until June you can see them here (bottom left) or www.northernrailway.co.uk/timetables.

With such poor service delivery over the entire network it is difficult to report either progress or the current position.

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.

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 www.northernrailway.co.uk/corporate/compensation-information.

And if Apps are your thing then I have not used this but a trusted, fellow Manchester service (sic) user has commended it and apparently over 1000 people have downloaded it already: www.northernfailapp.co.uk


May 2018 Timetable Changes and Current Service Issues

Preston - Ormskirk

An hourly service Monday – Saturday has been 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).

Merseyrail timetables revised for Maghull North (now scheduled to open on June 18th) will come into effect at the beginning of June.

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 but there will be a service offered on all Sundays during June and July while Liverpool Lime Street is going through remodelling.

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). Since the withdrawal of  our Southport – Airport service replaced with a Stalybridge – Wigan North Western – Alderley Edge service pattern it has got even worse.

In summary:

§  No direct service to Manchester Airport

§  All services will call at Meols Cop and Gathurst


§  First service will go to Piccadilly via Bolton

§  Additional second service will go to Victoria via Bolton

§  Third service will go to Victoria

§  Fourth service will go to Piccadilly via Bolton

§  All further services will go to Victoria with 2 trains per hour during the daytime

§  3 evening services from Piccadilly:

17.19 will not call at Oxford Road

18.18 will not call at Deansgate

21.27 will not call at Deansgate

Sunday: one service per hour to and from Victoria.

OPSTA and the Southport Rail Transport Forum campaign will continue to fight this because there was no reason to withdraw our services this year. We will need your support. 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.