Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham labelled the Northern service "unacceptably poor", calling for an investigation into whether the company is in breach of its franchise agreement.
Charles Horton, CEO of Govia Thameslink Railway, said: "We always said that delivering the biggest timetable change in generations would be challenging - but we are sorry that we have not been able to deliver the service that passengers expect". In an attempt to improve reliability, the operator said that it would introduce an "interim timetable" on Monday. The two train operators were responsible for more than 1,000 cancelled and delayed trains on Wednesday (30 May).
The union's General Secretary Mick Cash told the media that his members were facing public anger "without a shred of support" from Grayling or Northern's management. They apologised for the chaos, blaming delayed engineering works and a shortage of trained drivers.
This meant train companies had "much less time to prepare".
Gary Godolphin from Slaithwaite and Marsden Action on Rail Transport (SMART) said there had been "horrendous problems" throughout the Colne Valley.
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Northern's managing director David Brown said: 'We have been experiencing some significant disruption to train services, especially around north Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool, Blackpool and up to the Lake District.
The major disruption faced by passengers following rail timetable changes could be investigated by MPs.
"While this is now a huge inconvenience to passengers as the changes bed in, we are investing in the biggest modernisation of the railway since Victorian times, and this new timetable will deliver hundreds more services up and down the country", he said.
However, in a recent interview with the Times, Manfred Rudhart, chief executive of Arriva, said that the delays could last until August.
He described the performance of the network as "nothing short of a debacle" and "wholly unsatisfactory". If it's good enough for Wales and Scotland to have safe rail services, it should be good enough for the rest of Britain.
An "interim timetable" will be introduced on Monday with 165 trains removed - 6% of Northern's total services.