THE state of the region’s trains has been well documented in this newspaper.

For too long, commuters have complained about delayed, overcrowded and unreliable services into and out of Bolton.

As our Special Report today demonstrates visually, not much has changed for two decades.

In 2000, as now, there was standing room only as commuters are crammed into overcrowded carriages.

Passenger groups say the number of people using the railway has doubled since then ­— but the number of trains operating in the area did not increase to meet demand.

As the new electric trains are introduced in the North East, the old Pacer trains they are replacing will be brought to the North West.

It is hoped that this will be in addition to the existing diesel trains and will increase the capacity of the current service.

It is not ideal but is far better than what passengers in the region have had to get used to.

The Pacers are all being retired at the end of the year and Bolton will benefit from hi-tech new trains which will be more comfortable and reliable, and expand the service.

After the awful year passengers endured in 2018, they deserve a break ahead of the new trains arriving. The fashion and advent of smartphones has changed since 2000 ­— let’s hope 2020 shows commuters more relaxed and sitting in comfort.