Family left stranded in Croston after being sold tickets for a train that didn’t exist

A family were left stranded at a Croston railway station because no-one told them there were no trains on a Sunday.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 12:48 pm

Tony Marriott, his pregnant partner Tegan Whittle, two children aged 12 and 10 and their pet dog had tickets to travel from Croston to Bolton after a two-day break at a local caravan park.

But they only found out there were no Sunday trains from a group of village volunteers who tidy up the station at weekends.

"If they hadn't been there we would have been left sitting there not knowing what was going on," said Tony, 42.

Tony, Tegan, children Anton and Abbey and dog Nitz outside Croston Station.

"Why would Northern sell us tickets to return on a Sunday when there isn't a single train that day?"

The family travelled from their home in Bolton on Friday to spend two days glamping at the Royal Umpire Holiday Park in Croston.

After a "brilliant" stay they walked to the railway station on Sunday morning to catch their train home.

"We hadn't any cash left because we just expected to get on the train and get home," said Tony who is unemployed.

Croston Railway Station.

"But when we found out we would need to get a taxi to go to Leyland to catch a train we were stuck. And it was boiling hot.

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"The kids had nothing to drink and my partner was suffering too because she is four months pregnant. It was a nightmare."

How did the family get home?

Croston Station volunteer Kath Almond.

The couple managed to get a relative to transfer some money into their account and they were able to book a cab. But Tony says it was almost an hour before they could get transport because of their dog.

Then at Leyland Station they were forced to wait more than an hour for a train back to Bolton.

"In all it took us three-and-a-half hours to get home for what should have been no more than an hour.

"We were all boiling. We managed to get some drinks for the kids at the shop in Croston once we got the money through, but it was still unbelievably uncomfortable for everyone."

What does Northern say about the situation?

Local councillor Kath Almond, who was volunteering at the station when the family arrived, said: "The poor loves were just stuck. I felt so sorry for them.

"Why didn't the train company tell them they wouldn't be able to get a train on a Sunday?

"We are at the station most Sundays tidying up and it happens every week without fail. Someone turns up looking to get a train and we have to tell them there are none on a Sunday. And some of them have tickets like this family. It’s crazy.

"We have even put signs up now to alert people that there aren't any services on Sundays. But that shouldn't be our responsibility to do that, it should be the train company.

"We've told them and told them and still they don't do anything about it. They need to make it more obvious on their website and at the station."

Northern Trains have been approached for a comment.