World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Manchester Piccadilly

Article Id: WHEBN0000514334
Reproduction Date:

Title: Manchester Piccadilly  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Chester, Knutsford, Stalybridge, Pennines, Macclesfield, Stafford, Castlefield, Manchester Oxford Road railway station, Hyde, Greater Manchester, Milford Haven
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Manchester Piccadilly

Manchester Piccadilly
Place Manchester city centre
Local authority City of Manchester

53°28′37″N 2°13′48″W / 53.477°N 2.230°W / 53.477; -2.230Coordinates: 53°28′37″N 2°13′48″W / 53.477°N 2.230°W / 53.477; -2.230

Grid reference SJ847978
Station code MAN
Managed by Network Rail
Number of platforms 14 (National Rail)
2 (Manchester Metrolink)
station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05 Increase 18.959 million
2005/06 Increase 21.231 million
2006/07 Decrease 14.514 million
2007/08 Increase 20.656 million
2008/09 Increase 22.026 million
2009/10 Decrease 19.841 million
2010/11 Increase 21.279 million
2011/12 Decrease 18.584 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Greater Manchester
Zone City (D)
1842 Opened
1861 Rebuilt
1881 Expanded
1960 Renovated
2002 Renovated
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Manchester Piccadilly from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Manchester Piccadilly is the principal railway station in Manchester, England. Opened as Store Street in 1842 and renamed Manchester London Road in 1847, it serves intercity routes to London Euston, Birmingham New Street, South Wales, the south coast of England, Edinburgh and Glasgow Central, and routes throughout northern England. Two platforms for the Metrolink light rail network are located in the station's undercroft. Piccadilly is one of 17 British railway stations managed by Network Rail.[1]

Piccadilly is the busiest station in the Manchester station group ahead of Oxford Road, Victoria and Deansgate. With over 18.6 million passenger entries and exits between April 2011 and March 2012, it is the sixth busiest station in the United Kingdom outside London, after Birmingham New Street, Glasgow Central, Leeds, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street.[2] It is the second busiest interchange station outside London, with almost 3.8 million passengers changing trains at the station annually.[3]

The station received a five-year £100m refurbishment in 2002, which was the most expensive improvement on the UK rail network at the time.[4] According to an independent poll carried out in 2007, Manchester Piccadilly has the highest customer satisfaction level of any UK station, with 92% of passengers satisfied compared with the national average of 60%.[5] There are plans to enlarge the station with two new through platforms as part of the Northern Hub and five new platforms as part of the High Speed 2 proposals.


A temporary terminus on Travis Street opened in June 1840 when the Manchester and Birmingham Railway (M&BR) opened its line to Stockport. In 1842 the company's Store Street station, comprising two platforms and offices, adjacent to London Road, was completed and by then the line extended to Crewe. The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway (SA&MR) shared the station from 1844 as the terminus of its line. The station name was changed to London Road in 1847 and it retained that name until 1960.[6]

Manchester London Road

The station was renamed London Road in 1847. In 1849, the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, which became the Great Central Railway, was formed.[6] The Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway (MSJAR) opened its line from Manchester Oxford Road railway station to London Road on 1 August 1849 and built the MSJAR or South Junction platforms adjacent to the main part of the station.

London Road was overcrowded by the 1860s, and the relationship between the companies using it was poor. In 1862 the companies agreed to rebuild the station so it could be split in two. As traffic continued to increase the station was expanded and two spans added to the train shed in 1881.[6] The MSJAR platforms and the bridge over Fairfield Street were demolished and an island platform, on girder bridges, opened on 16 May 1882.

The adjacent Mayfield station opened in 1910 providing four platforms which alleviated overcrowding at Piccadilly. It closed to passengers in 1960 and closed permanently in 1986. The Mayfield station building still exists and can still be seen on approach to Piccadilly and from platforms 13 and 14.

During the first two decades of the 20th century, London Road station was served by the London and North Western Railway, the Great Central Railway and, by running powers, the North Staffordshire Railway. Following the 1923 railway grouping, the station was served by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway and the London and North Eastern Railway. After nationalisation in 1948, London Road station was operated as two independent stations, separated by iron railings on platform 5. On one side was the London Midland Region of British Railways; on the other was the Eastern Region.

Manchester Piccadilly

London Road station was renamed Manchester Piccadilly when it reopened after reconstruction on 12 September 1960 for London Midland Region electric train services to London. The MSJAR platforms and bridges over Fairfield Street were replaced. The island platforms (13 and 14) were located on a new pre-stressed concrete slab bridge with cantilevered sides for the tracks.

In the early 1970s, as part of the Picc-Vic tunnel project, there were proposals to build an underground station, Piccadilly Low Level.[7] The project was cancelled, and subsequent rail improvements concentrated on surface projects and the introduction of light rail.

Piccadilly's island platforms were further rebuilt and lengthened in 1988 in connection with the opening of the Windsor Link. The glass roof over the terminal platforms was completely replaced in the late 1990s. The train shed is a Grade II listed building.[8]

In 2001-2002, in preparation for the 2002 Commonwealth Games the remainder of the station was rebuilt to designs by BDP, increasing the size of the concourse and improving road access. The station's undercroft, the two levels below the main rail platforms, was converted to provide two platforms for the Manchester Metrolink tram system.


The listed train shed roof which is 105 metres wide between platforms 1 and 12, has four spans, two spans 185 metres in length over the eastern part of the station date from the 1860s while the other two at the western side measuring 150 metres long were built in the early 1880s. The roof is supported by masonry walls with round-headed windows alongside platforms 1 and 12 and rows of cast iron columns. The roof spans have wrought iron trusses with cast iron struts on girders between the columns.[8] The original roof was covered with slates with some glazing. The slates were subsequently replaced with boarded felt. Between 1997 and 1999 the roof was refurbished and 10,000 panes of toughened glass ‘float’ above the wrought iron trusses.[9]

Below the train shed is an area once used as a goods station. Its cast iron columns and brick arches support the non-through platforms above. The area is now used by the Metrolink station, its tracks and sidings. The columns were encased in concrete for protection against collision.

George W. Buck designed the original skew arch bridge over Fairfield Street with ten cast iron arch ribs as part of a long brick arch viaduct topped with open stonework parapets. The bridge was widened by adding wrought iron plate girders and transverse girders, supporting longitudinal joists with iron arch plates. As part of reconstruction in the 1960s the cast iron arches and spandrels were encased in concrete.[10] Platforms 13 and 14 are situated on the bridge.

The main entrance leads to a concourse with ground floor and mezzanine levels. The Fairfield Street entrance leads to the Metrolink station in the undercroft and is linked to the rail platforms by escalators. Redevelopment between 1997 and 2002 revised the station layout. A glass partition wall separates the concourse from the platforms.[11] The station's approach, constructed in 1969 along with the "wavy" fronted Gateway House by Richard Seifert, was modernised in 2003.[9]


Northern Hub

Network Rail's 'Northern Hub' plans, costing over £560 million, aim to improve the heavily congested rail network on the approach into Manchester.[12] Two through platforms would be constructed at Piccadilly and the station linked to Manchester Victoria via the Ordsall Chord, cutting journey times on Trans-Pennine routes.[13][14] The Ordsall Chord will make it possible for trains from the airport to travel via Piccadilly's platforms 13 and 14 and Oxford Road to Manchester Victoria and Leeds and via the Calder Valley line to Bradford. Construction is expected to start in 2014, with completion in time for the December 2016 timetable revision.

Phase 2 aims to alleviate congestion at platforms 13 and 14 by constructing a parallel elevated island platform (platforms 15 and 16) to end crowding and allow the minimum time between trains to be decreased from four to three minutes, improving reliability. It will allow four more trains an hour to be timetabled to Oxford Road, including a second freight to Trafford Park.[15][16] Approval for the platforms, at an estimated cost of £200 million, was announced in July 2012.[17] Construction, to be completed in time for the December 2018 timetable revision, should begin in 2016,.

The proposals aim to simplify train operations at Manchester Piccadilly, creating close associations between pairs of lines leading out of the station and particular platforms, with few crossing moves. Through platforms 16 to 13 will be dedicated to services on the present 'slow' lines, to and from Manchester Airport and Hazel Grove; platforms 12 to 5 would be for services on the 'fast' lines, to and from Crewe and Stoke; and platforms 4 to 1 would be for services on the 'east' lines, to and from Marple, Glossop and Huddersfield.[18]

In July 2013 Network Rail opened consultation on three options for the additional platforms at Piccadily, all three of which would impact on local roads and the Grade II listed Star and Garter public house[19]

High Speed 2

To accommodate High Speed 2, an extension to Piccadilly would have four platforms and a 7.5 mile tunnel would be built under south Manchester to join the West Coast Main Line at Ardwick. Journey times to Manchester Airport would be reduced to 9 minutes, Birmingham 41 minutes and London 68 minutes - from 18 minutes, 86 minutes and 128 minutes respectively. Station upgrades could include enhanced Metrolink services, improved road access and car parking. The line is planned to be completed by 2032.[20]


National Rail station

The station has 12 platforms for terminating/originating services, and two through platforms, 13 and 14, the former MSJAR platforms. The platforms are split into a and b sections to allow more than one train to stand. They are used by through services via Manchester Oxford Road to North Wales, Liverpool, North West England, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and through services from Manchester Airport.

Six train operating companies operate routes to and from Manchester Piccadilly.

Preceding station   National Rail   Following station
Arriva Trains Wales Terminus
Terminus Arriva Trains Wales
CrossCountry Terminus
CrossCountry Terminus
East Midlands Trains
First TransPennine Express
First TransPennine Express
First TransPennine Express
Northern Rail Terminus
Northern Rail
Northern Rail Terminus
Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Virgin Trains Terminus

Metrolink station

Piccadilly Metrolink station
Location of Piccadilly in Greater Manchester
Place Manchester city centre
Local authority City of Manchester

53°28′37″N 2°13′48″W / 53.477°N 2.230°W / 53.477; -2.230

Grid reference SJ848978
Platforms 2
Fare zone information
Metrolink Zone D (City)
Present status In operation
Original operator Manchester Metrolink
Opened 4 June 1992
UK Trams portal

Manchester Piccadilly station is the terminus for Manchester Metrolink services to Altrincham, Eccles and MediaCityUK, and the through service between Bury and Droylsden. The Metrolink station, in a vaulted undercroft underneath the mainline station, is one of eight serving Manchester city centre, within the system's City Zone. Trams from Piccadilly Gardens run along Aytoun Street, on to London Road and along a short distance on segregated track, before crossing the road and entering the undercroft through a tunnel.

The station is the busiest on the Metrolink network. Originally one platform was used for arrivals from Altrincham/departures to Bury, and the other for arrivals from Bury/departures to Altrincham and all services to/from Eccles, with a crossover inside the station to allow access between platforms. The layout was altered to provide separate arrivals and departures platforms. Empty trams ran into a reversing siding in a tunnel to access the departure platform.[21] After the opening of the extension to Droylsden in February 2013, the arrivals platform is also used for departures towards Droylsden and trams terminating and the departures platform handles arrivals from Droylsden. Terminating trams use a reversing siding between the Droylsden running lines between Piccadilly and the New Islington tram stop.

The tram station has been refurbished, and was the first to display the Metrolink corporate identity unveiled in 2008.[22] Station signage bears the yellow and silver livery as applied to the new generation of trams since 2009.[23]

Piccadilly was the eastern terminus of the Metrolink system, but was constructed to accommodate eastward extension. Proposals were approved for a six-mile extension to Ashton-under-Lyne.[24] The reversing sidings are part of this line, which exits the north side of the station towards Ancoats, Sportcity, Clayton, and along Ashton New Road to Droylsden and Audenshaw.[25] Trams terminating at Piccadilly from the city centre use a new reversing siding to the east side of Sheffield Street. The East Manchester line was officially opened on 11 February 2013,[26][27] after a three-day free trial for local residents.[28]

In the early 1980s, proposals for a light rail system were based on converting existing railway lines to light rail operation (as with the Altrincham and Bury lines). Under these plans, eastward extensions from Piccadilly would have involved running Metrolink trams along the Glossop Line (to Hadfield and Glossop) and along part of the Hope Valley Line (to Marple and Rose Hill). These plans are no longer being pursued; however, the alignment this route would have used is still protected in 2010, with BRB Residual land disposals being altered by the ORR after a year-long consultation.

Preceding station   Manchester Metrolink   Following station
toward Altrincham
Altrincham – Piccadilly Line Terminus
Bury – Ashton-under-Lyne Line
toward Eccles
Eccles – Piccadilly Line Terminus


The Fairfield Street entrance, at basement level, serves the car park, taxi rank, and the Metrolink station. Above it, at track level, is a concourse into which the main entrance feeds housing ticket offices, information points, seating, timetables, toilets, shops, and food and drink outlets. Above the concourse is a second level of food outlets and bars, and the Virgin Trains First Class Lounge. On the main concourse, glass doors within a large glass partition lead to platforms 1 to 12. A travelator leads to the upper concourse linked by footbridge, steps and lift to platforms 13 and 14. The island lounge contains retail outlets, toilets and a departure lounge. There are vending machines, waiting areas and snack bars on platforms 13 and 14.

Manchester Piccadilly is accessible for disabled people and has escalators and lifts to all levels, wide access doors and gates, braille signs, hearing loops and disabled toilet facilities.

Cycle racks are available on Fairfield Street and the long stay car park and next to the tower block at the station front. In March 2010, Manchester City Council and Network Rail unveiled plans for a 'Cycle Centre' to provide secure facilities, with maintenance and hire facilities.

The station has a taxi rank, drop off/pick up point, and short and long-stay car parks[29] which are accessible from Fairfield Street.[30] The long stay multi-storey car park is located at the rear of the station.


Manchester Piccadilly is currently served by six train operating companies.

Northern Rail

Services operate to the north and west to Liverpool via St Helens Junction, Preston via Bolton and Southport via Wigan.

These are operated by a variety of trains of Class 142, Class 150 and Class 156 Sprinter DMUs or Class 323 electric units.

Arriva Trains Wales

  • Hourly services via Chester and the North Wales Coast Line to Llandudno, calling at Manchester Oxford Road, Newton-le-Willows, Earlestown, Warrington Bank Quay, Runcorn East, Frodsham, Helsby, Chester, Shotton, Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Abergele & Pensarn, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction and Deganwy. Two trains per day continue to Holyhead.

All services (except for the 1030 departure) are booked for a Class 175 Coradia unit. Class 158 Express Sprinter and occasionally Class 150 Sprinter units when 175s are not available.


  • Hourly services to Bournemouth call at Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham New Street, Birmingham International, Coventry, Leamington Spa, Banbury, Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke, Winchester, Southampton Airport Parkway, Southampton Central, and Brockenhurst.

All CrossCountry services are operated by Class 220 Voyager and Class 221 Super Voyager units.

East Midlands Trains

First TransPennine Express operate services on three routes.

Class 185 Desiro units operate most TransPennine Express services, with the exception of Hull services which are operated by Class 170 Turbostar units. Occasionally, Class 185s appear on Hull services and Class 170s appear on Cleethorpes services.

Virgin Trains


External links

  • Network Rail
  • More photos of the Metrolink station

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.