THE ticket office at Atherton train station was closed by staff on safety grounds because too many people wanted to buy tickets.
Stunned passengers arriving to catch the train to Manchester to go Christmas shopping found ticket office staff had already shuttered their window.
And a hand written notice warned them that trains were already full to capacity so no further tickets would be issued.
Northern Rail staff who operate Atherton Station on the Wigan Wallgate to Victoria line took the action - backed by management - because they were worried that admitting more passengers would create a potential hazard as all seats were taken.
On train conductors had warned them that there were also rows of passengers already standing down the aisles.
Now ward Coun Norman Bradbury, who is a member of the Transport for Greater Manchester public transport authority, is demanding an inquiry into the “unprecedented” scenes.
But Northern Rail today stood by the decision of their Atherton station based staff and insisted that the company “always operates” in the interests of its passengers safety.
A Northern Rail spokesman apologised for passengers affected by the problems. She said: “We work closely with our partners to plan for these occasions and will provide additional carriages where we can. We apologise to those passengers who were affected but would like to reassure them and others that we are working hard to carry as many people as we can.”