Landslide expected to close Wigan to Southport railway line for the whole of Wednesday
A waterlogged railway line at Parbold had already disrupted trains between the two destinations due to prolonged heavy rainfall on Tuesday.
And just as the weather was easing and services resumed, an embankment landslide at Burscough Bridge then caused further chaos.
Staff from Network Rail have been at the scene, but were initially unable to carry out the necessary repair work until the water levels subsided.
In the meantime, Northern has been operating an amended service to try to keep customers on the move.
As a result of the flooding the following amendments are in place on Wednesday October 7:
Services between Alderley Edge and Southport will operate between Alderley Edge and Parbold
Services between Stalybridge and Southport will operate between Stalybridge and Wigan Wallgate.
Rail replacement buses will operate between Wigan Wallgate and Southport – there will be no through train services.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said on Tuesday night: “It has been an extremely difficult day, particularly for our customers travelling to and from Wigan.
"Sadly, as a result of the severe flooding, we are facing more disruption on Wednesday though customers can be assured that the rail industry is doing all it can repair the damage and restore services as soon as possible.
“And all at Northern will do everything possible to provide transport that gets people who rely on that route where they need to be throughout the day.”
Richard Horobin, Network Rail’s Operations Director for the North West, said: “I’m sorry to passengers who had planned to travel between these stations on Wednesday, as services will be cancelled or disrupted until we can clear the water and fix the landslip.
“The flooding has worsened between Wigan Wallgate and Southport, but we’re working as fast as we can, using special water pumps to clear the flooding, to get services back up and running.”
Mr Jackson added: “Again, I’d like to thank our customers for their patience and ask that anyone who is planning to travel on this route on Wednesday allows extra time for journeys and checks ahead before setting off as delays and cancellations are possible.”
For up-to-date travel information check the Northern website or National Rail Enquiries.
Delay Repay compensation is available for any customers whose journeys are delayed by 15 minutes or longer this afternoon.
To make a claim visit the Northern website and follow the links to Delay Repay.
The Wigan Observer and Wigan Post are more reliant than ever on your taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Wigan news and information online, you can subscribe here: https://www.wigantoday.net/subscriptions