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 to address Railfuture North West AGM on 24th February 2018 (details to follow)


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


Train Timetables from October 2017 (to follow)

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

 


 

Southport Manchester Services – Services Proposed from May 2018


Network Rail announcement 11/1/18 - they will not deliver Manchester - Bolton - Preston electrification until December this year. Given it is also certain Northern will not be getting their fleet of bi mode 769s for May there is now no reason for them to withdraw our Airport service before December. We will seek reassurance on this.

We still await confirmation that next year's May timetable has been finalised but inside sources indicate they are nowhere near reconciling Northern and TPE bids for routes and services with each other and the available train paths, particularly in Manchester and southside. Overlay this with the absence of a proven solution and plan for electrifying the difficult parts of Preston – Manchester then it seems highly probable the May date slips or the timetable changes are radically descoped.But the industry as a whole seems incapable of managing large change programmes and has no one strong enough to make them confront the reality and manage the planning actively.

All of the affected MPs are firmly with us. Frustrated with the lack of real progress from Northern over recent weeks, who claim they cannot speak with us meaningfully until they know the finalised May ’18 plan, we agreed with Damien Moore, Southport's MP, to work up our own business case for direct Southport to Piccadilly (and Bolton) services through extension of the mooted Alderley Edge to Wigan North Western service.

This will require up to three additional Class 769 bi-mode trains to the small fleet Northern already plans to bring into service and it is now certain that the earliest date for having everything in place would be December 2018, hence delays to May ’18 changes would lessen the hiatus.

The business case makes an incontrovertible argument for this without giving up all of the improved Victoria services. A very high cost benefit ratio means the small investment will be well spent. The case draws heavily on the analysis of passenger numbers, survey results and passenger/ business comments about how important this service is. Backed by the other MPs, Damien Moore is going to push it at the top level of (his) government seeking an early response.