IT'S been chaos on the trains already this week as many Northern Rail and Transpennine Express services failed to operate on time. 

The disruptions, which Northern Rail put down to 'worse-than-usual autumnal conditions' caused misery for commuters across the North West, including many who were travelling on East Lancs services.

According to a train performance website, only 56% of the services ran as scheduled on Monday with the remaining trains being late or completely cancelled. 

And Northern Rail’s journey checker website stated that more than 45 services had been affected, with disruptions being worst around the busy rush hour period.

Northern Rail service disruption causes misery for East Lancs commuters

Many journeys through Blackburn, Rochdale, Clitheroe, Colne, Bolton and Manchester were cancelled or running as severely reduced, with others between Preston and Ormskirk disrupted as well. 

By this afternoon there had been reports of long delays, and disruptions to 33 services, including journeys between Blackburn and Southport.

All journeys between Preston and Ormskirk were cancelled today and Northern Rail asked customers to bear with them as some services featured reduced carriages due to trains suffering damaged wheels as a result of leaves on the line. 

On Monday, Northern Rail took 20 units off the network to repair the wheels.

The disruptions have added even more misery to commuters, who are already faced with strike action and reduced services on weekends in the run up to Christmas, particularly on Saturday's, when there are no Northern Rail trains at all until after December 29.

The rail operator, which has faced heavy criticism for it’s continued disruptions, posted a statement on their website at the beginning of the week, urging customers to plan their journey’s carefully.

It read: “We would like to apologise to any customers who face delays, cancellations or a reduction in carriages. Issues related to the time of year - excess leaves on the line and damp weather - continue to cause problems for the rail industry and have caused several carriages to be taken out of service."

Commuters in East Lancs are asked to check journey details well in advance and make alternative arrangements where possible.