RAIL passengers were left stranded on the platform after a rush hour train was cancelled this morning.

Northern cancelled the 7.17am service from Preston to Hazel Grove because of a shortage of train crew.

The cancellation created an excess of passengers along the line to Bolton who were unable to board subsequent train services because they were too overcrowded.

Footage on social media filmed at Lostock station shows packed carriages and passengers unable to squeeze through the doors, with around 40 customers left on the platform.

Passenger, Sara McCluskey, works as a resource planning analyst in customer services in Manchester, and tried to board a train at 8.20 this morning at Lostock.

The 26-year-old said this morning’s scenes of chaos were far from being a one-off occurrence, branding rail operator, Northern ‘unreliable and unacceptable’.

She said: “This is probably the fourth time in the past few months I’ve been unable to get on a train due to overcrowding or cancellations.

“The trains have been delayed almost daily and often result in me being late for work. I can never get a seat from Lostock as it has already filled up by then.

“The past few weeks have been really bad trying to get back to Lostock after work as well, with cancellations and delays.

“I was due to start at 9 this morning but with the 7:50am cancelled and the 8.20am too full I’ve had to get the 8.51am, which doesn’t get in to Manchester until 9.30am, so I’ll be 45minutes late for work.”

There will be further disruption to services when Northern staff go on strike for 48 hours later this month.

Members of the RMT union will walk out on Monday, March 26 and Thursday, March 29.

It is the latest strike by staff over plans by Northern to introduce driver-only trains.

The strikes will run for 24 hours on both strike days.

Northern is expected to operate a limited service on the strike days and the majority of trains will run between 7pm and 7pm.

Meanwhile, customers in Bromley Cross were left stranded by Norther rail replacement bus services that failed to turn up last weekend.

For several months trains at the weekend through Bolton have been replaced by buses to allow electrification work to take place.

Ms McCluskey said she thought season ticket holder should be given a discount due to the loss of weekend rail services.

She said: “I’m paying £111 a month. Overall I’d say the service is unacceptable for the price, unreliable and I’m yet to see any improvement that they promised from last year.

“There are no weekend services from Lostock or Bolton until summer 2018 and no form of discount is offered considering the lost days of train travel. The ticket prices have instead increased this year.”

Northern, which is a trading name of Arriva Rail North, have been approached for a comment.