Southport has long benefited from good rail connections with Manchester but since the Beeching era there has been some significant chipping away at the level/standard of service. Indeed, Southport grew partly because Manchester business people liked to live in the town and commute to Manchester due to its once excellent rail connections.
Often these days Southport – Manchester trains can be overcrowded, slow and made up of the ‘Pacer’ units that people like John Pugh MP have campaigned to have removed from the British railways network. Of course the get rid of the ‘Pacers’ campaign has recently been won as we all know.
But sadly another threat is on the horizon and it could well mean that Southport will lose it connection with Manchester’s Piccadilly Station and Manchester Airport. You see as part of the Northern Hub project which is aimed at getting more trains per hour through congested tracks in Manchester there is talk of Southport’s trains going into Manchester Victoria Station only. Presently some go to Victoria and some to Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.
This is a serious threat that rail campaign groups like OPSTA and John Pugh are trying to fight off but are we close to seeing train departure boards at Southport Station no longer showing trains to Manchester Airport?
The Southport – Wigan – Manchester line desperately needs greater investment not being downgraded further!