NORTHERN Rail’s service has been branded ‘unacceptable’ as passengers have been left crammed into carriages and stranded on platforms.

Commuters on rush hour services through Bromley Cross and Hall i’ th’ Wood to Bolton and Manchester have seen trains running with two carriages instead of the normal three in recent weeks.

This has meant many people boarding morning services, especially the service that leaves Bromley Cross at 7.30am to go to Manchester Victoria, have not been able to get on.

One Bromley Cross commuter, who travels to Manchester for work, reported how yesterday how the 7.30am train was made up of just two carriages and commuters were left behind at Hall i’ th’ Wood.

He said: “Those on the platform were banging on the train windows, shouting for those standing inside to move down and create more room.

“There was no indication before the train arrived at Bromley Cross that the train was a carriage short.”

On Monday the same commuter reported that 30 commuters were left on the platform at Bromley Cross.

He said: “It’s been infrequently a problem for over a year, but certainly within the last three weeks it’s almost every day. It’s horrid."

Northern said the shortage will last for a few more weeks so people are 'likely' to continue to see a reduced number of carriages.

Sir David Crausby, MP for Bolton North East, has written to Northern and Network Rail about the problem.

He said: “It goes on forever and ever. It is just completely unacceptable.

“We should be doing everything we can to get people on trains, we should be making it easy for them.

“It has been going on for so long. It is important for people to be able to get from Bromley Cross to Bolton and Manchester.

"The road network coming into Bolton at the wrong time of day is an absolute nightmare so we need as many people as possible to get on the trains.

If you are disabled and are trying to get a train at particular hours of the day just forget about it.

“It is not rocket science what they need to do, they just need to put on more carriages at certain times.”

Liam Sumpter, regional director at Northern, apologised to any customer affected by delays and cancellations.

He said: “Engineering work and sporadic reliability with trains has caused some issues in and around Bolton during the past few months. This has been exacerbated by the time of year and the arrival of the annual ‘leaf fall’ period.

“Large numbers of leaves on the track, as well as other seasonal problems, can cause damage to train wheels. "When wheels are damaged (wheel flats) the carriage has to be taken out of service and the wheel repaired before the problem becomes more serious.”

He added Northern has some older trains which are past their best and is currently carrying out its modernisation programme that will see new trains deployed on the lines and also an increase in the number of services.

By 2020 Northern hopes to introduce an extra 2,000 services each week, on top of the 2,500 it already operates each day.