That the service on this important rail route has been below standard for far too long is sadly a given but unlike our other local rail line run by Northern Assist (Ormskirk – Preston) it has not really picked up enough since the well publicised troubles flowing from the May 2018 timetable changes.
In simple terms the trains on this line suffer from the following problems – being short-formed i.e. too few carriages, being terminated short of their destination, being cancelled.
The reasons for these troubles seem to be a combination of insufficient rolling stock and lack of availability of train crews. That this has gone on for as long as many travellers on the line can remember is a appalling.
OPSTA, the local volunteer railway campaign group covering the Ormskirk – Preston and Southport – Wigan Lines is continually badgering Northern Assist and indeed anyone in the rail industry who will listen to try to drag the performance on the line up. Sadly, based on what we presently know, it may be some time (after the December 2019 timetable changes?) before the Southport Wigan – Manchester Line is back up to acceptable standards in terms of reliability.