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This video shows the historic first journey of the direct train service from East Lancashire to Manchester Victoria.

The route was open to the public for the first time in more than 40 years and around 100 rail enthusiasts, community leaders and shoppers gathered for its maiden voyage.

This exclusive video taken by the Accrington Observer shows the driver's eye view from Blackburn to Manchester Victoria with stops including Church and Oswaldtwistle and Accrington.

The commute, which takes just over one hour, is now possible after the reinstatement of 500m of rail track known as the Todmorden Curve.

Hyndburn MP Graham Jones travelled on the first service with his partner Kimberley Whitehead and their five-year-old daughter Alana.

He said: “It's fabulous for this day to arrive and it's put Hyndburn on the map.

“It's been quite busy this morning and people will be able to get to and from East Lancashire and Manchester quickly and more efficiently.

“It could also help ease congestion on the A56 and M66 as people might not see the point in driving any more.

“It will provide opportunities, no doubt about it, and people will have a real choice to look for work in Manchester and not be at the mercy of congestion on the roads.”

Mr Jones said he would like to see some changes made now the rail link is up and running.

He said: “I think the next thing will be to try and re-jig the timetable and look at more off-peak stops and also the fares.

“The network also needs to be integrated with the airport service so people can get to Manchester Airport.”

On weekdays the first trains will leave Accrington at 6.23am and last trains will leave Manchester at 10.50pm.

On Saturdays the last train will leave Manchester at 11.01pm, with the latest Sunday train leaving Manchester at 9.50pm.

The new service will run hourly and commuters will no longer have to change at stations such as Preston.

Northern Rail said this will improve journey times from Accrington to Manchester and provide a catalyst for jobs, economic growth and the visitor economy.

The £8.8 million scheme has been hit by a series of delays including a lack of rolling stock.

The ten-year project has been a partnership between Northern Rail, Network Rail, Lancashire County Council and Burnley Council.

Commuters boarding from Accrington train station between 7am and 9am on Monday, May 18, will be welcomed with tea, coffee, muffins and a 'goodie bag'.