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Manchester Victoria

Manchester Victoria
Place Manchester city centre
Local authority Manchester

53°29′14″N 2°14′33″W / 53.4872°N 2.2424°W / 53.4872; -2.2424Coordinates: 53°29′14″N 2°14′33″W / 53.4872°N 2.2424°W / 53.4872; -2.2424

Grid reference SJ839989
Station code MCV
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 6 (National Rail)
2 (Manchester Metrolink)
station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2006/07  5.060 million
2007/08 Decrease 4.006 million
2008/09 Increase 6.174 million
2009/10 Decrease 6.146 million
2010/11 Increase 6.667 million
2011/12 Increase 9.829[nb 1] million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Greater Manchester
Zone City (D)
1844 Opened
1902 Extended
1993–96 Northern portion reconstructed
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Manchester Victoria from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Manchester Victoria station in Manchester, England is the city's second largest mainline railway station and one of seven Metrolink tram stations within the city zone. It is situated to the north of the city centre on Hunts Bank, close to Manchester Cathedral.

The station largely serves destinations to the north and east of Manchester, with some trains to Liverpool, mostly on the original Liverpool to Manchester line. Victoria is the second busiest station in the Manchester station group after Piccadilly. Most trains calling at the station are operated by Northern Rail, except during engineering works, when some trains are diverted from Manchester Piccadilly. In 2009, Victoria was voted as the worst railway station in the United Kingdom.[1]

The line to Bury was converted to light-rail operation in the early 1990s when the Metrolink tram system was created, with the trams switching to on-street running once they emerge from Victoria Station, and continuing southwards through the city centre either to Piccadilly Station or to Altrincham. Phase 3 of Metrolink involves the conversion of rail routes from Victoria to Rochdale via Oldham to light rail. In June 2012 the line as far as Oldham Mumps was opened, services were extended to Shaw in December and through to Rochdale in February 2013.

It is one of the largest stations in the North of England to be managed by Northern Rail. As part of the Northern Hub plan, Manchester Victoria will become the rail hub for trans-Pennine services when the Ordsall Chord is completed in 2018 with passenger numbers are expected to rise to 12 million.[2] A two-year £44 million modernisation programme which includes a new ETFE roof commenced in April 2013.[3] The station will temporarily close to all services for 11 days over Christmas 2013 to facilitate the installation of the new roof and electrification works. Work on upgrading the station is expected to be complete by spring 2015.


In 1838 Samuel Brooks, vice-chairman of the Manchester and Leeds Railway (M&LR) bought land at Hunt's Bank close to the cathedral and presented it to the company for a station to replace the inconveniently located Manchester Oldham Road railway station opened by the company on 3 July 1839. The station was initially a long, low single-storey building designed by George Stephenson and completed by John Brogden[4] on 1 January 1844. It was named Victoria by permission of Her Majesty. The long single platform handled M&LR trains to Leeds and elsewhere at its eastern end. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway extended its line from Ordsall, near the original Manchester Liverpool Road railway station, and its trains operated from Victoria's western end from 4 May 1844.[5]

By the mid-1840s six railway companies operated from the station connecting Manchester to London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield. Victoria Station came to dominate the Long Millgate area and was one of the biggest passenger stations in Britain.

Victoria was enlarged by William Dawes, who is responsible for most of the remaining facade, in 1909. The enlarged building was erected on land consecrated as a burial ground on 1 January 1815 by the Bishop of Chester; this land was acquired by the Manchester and Leeds Railway in 1844.[6] It was enlarged to 17 platforms. Wealthy commuters travelled from Blackpool and Southport rather faster than is possible today (e.g. 45 minutes from Southport in 1910, 67 today; and 65 minutes from Blackpool in 1910, 77 today) in specially-constructed club cars hauled by express steam locomotives. These non-stop services were abandoned in the early 1960s.

The Edwardian building has a 160 yards (146 m) facade, which carries an iron and glass canopy bearing the names of the original destinations served, and a tile mural depicting the routes of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, which operated most of the trains from the station between 1847 and 1923, when it became one of the main constituents of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Canopies covered the waiting area for taxi cabs until they were damaged in the Provisional IRA 1996 bombing. They have been restored. The cast-iron train sheds behind the façade are 700 yards (640 m) long. Initially the station was approached by a wooden footbridge over the River Irk, which has subsequently disappeared beneath culverting alongside the cathedral.

From 1884, Victoria Station was adjacent to Manchester Exchange Station, operated by the rival London and North Western Railway, and, from 1929, a single passenger platform which linked the stations was the longest passenger platform in Europe at 2,194 feet (669 m). Exchange Station closed in 1969 and its services were transferred to Victoria. Its site opposite the cathedral is now a car park. Platforms 1–3 at Victoria were also closed.

In the early 1970s, as part of the Picc-Vic tunnel project, there were proposals to build an underground station, Victoria Low Level.[7] The project was cancelled and subsequent rail improvements concentrated on surface projects and the introduction of light rail. The station received Grade II listed building status in 1988 for its period features and neo-Baroque Edwardian facade, ticketing hall, Victorian dome, tiled map of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and a memorial for servicemen who did return after World War I.[8]

The Manchester Arena was joined to the station between 1992 and 1996 by means of a raft above the through rail platforms. It is accessed via stairs on Hunts Bank and from the station concourse. During construction of the arena, the station was reduced in size from 14 platforms to 6. Most through tracks were removed, along with former platforms 12—17, their overall roof and platform buildings.


In 2009 the station was identified as the worst category B interchange station for its fabric and environment. The transport secretary, Lord Adonis, announced that with nine others, it would receive a share of £50 million for a refurbishment programme.[9] Victoria's £5m share of the 'Better Stations' Network Rail funding for improvements was cancelled in the June 2010 budget cuts,[10] but replacement funding has since been arranged.[11] On 16 February 2010 Network Rail announced its intention to refurbish the station in the Northern Hub improvement proposals when it will become an interchange for local and regional services throughout north-west England. In August 2010, Network Rail announced the work would go ahead, despite withdrawal of the £5 million funding.[12] Station improvements include the provision of an ETFE roof, its walls, exterior canopy and period features will be restored and cleaned, new platforms for additional services in Network Rail's 'Northern Hub' plan, improved access to the Manchester Arena and improved retail and dining facilities.[13]

The Ordsall Chord linking Victoria to Piccadilly will be operational by 2016 and additional platforms will be built by 2019 to facilitate extra capacity.[14] It is anticipated that by re-routing services, passenger numbers will increase to 12 million by 2019 - compared with 6.6 million in 2011/12.[15] Construction of the Ordsall Chord allowing trains to run directly between Piccadilly and Victoria will shorten journey times on First Transpennine Express routes between Manchester Airport and Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Hull and Scarborough. An express service from Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle via Victoria is expected to be introduced by First TransPennine Express. Reinstatement of the south and west curve at Todmorden on the Caldervale Line in 2014 will facilitate a direct service between Victoria and Burnley Manchester Road Station for the first time in almost fifty years. As part of Network Rail's electrification strategy, overhead electric wires will be erected from Manchester Victoria to Liverpool, Preston via Bolton and Blackpool and the North TransPennine route to York via Leeds which will allow most services to switch to electric traction.[16]

Work on restoring the station began in April 2013.[17] The old roof will be dismantled by autumn 2013 and the new ETFE roof completed in summer 2014.[18]

National Rail services

Manchester Victoria is served by a single train operating company, Northern Rail. It is occasionally used by First Transpennine Express and CrossCountry services during engineering works.

Northern Rail operates Class 142 pacers and 150 or 156 Sprinter DMUs on most train services around Manchester, while the Leeds Calder Valley services are usually operated by Class 155 or 158 Sprinter DMUs. The Leeds via Dewsbury services mainly use 3-car Class 144 Monday - Friday, although at weekends this service sees other classes on the route such as a pair of Class 153 DMUs or Class 150 or 155.

Manchester Victoria is used by Transpennine Express as a diversionary route and alternative station when the route through Manchester Piccadilly is unavailable as a result of engineering works. Night services between Manchester Airport and York run via Manchester Victoria, although they do not stop. They then run via Ashton-under-Lyne to rejoin the usual route at Stalybridge, or continue through Rochdale and Hebden Bridge before reaching Huddersfield.

Service summary

Westbound services

Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Kearsley, Farnworth, Moses Gate, Bolton and Wigan Wallgate
Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Westhoughton, Hindley and Wigan Wallgate
Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Swinton, Moorside, Walkden, Atherton, Hag Fold, Daisy Hill, Hindley, Ince, Wigan Wallgate, Pemberton, Orrell, Upholland, Rainford and Kirkby
Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Swinton, Walkden, Atherton, Daisy Hill, Hindley, Wigan Wallgate, Gathurst, Appley Bridge, Parbold, Hoscar, Burscough Bridge, New Lane, Bescar Lane, Meols Cop and Southport

Note that the Monday - Saturday peak 17:06 is a faster Wigan Wallgate service, which calls only at:

Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Atherton, Daisy Hill, Wigan Wallgate, Gathurst, Appley Bridge, Parbold, Burscough Bridge, Meols Cop and Southport.
Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Lostock, Horwich Parkway, Blackrod, Adlington, Chorley, Buckshaw Parkway, Leyland, Preston, Kirkham and Wesham, Poulton-le-Fylde, Layton and Blackpool North
Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Hall-i-th-Wood, Bromley Cross, Darwen, Blackburn, Ramsgreave & Wilpshire, Langho, Whalley and Clitheroe
Eccles, Patricroft, Newton-le-Willows, Earlestown, St. Helens Junction, Lea Green, Rainhill, Whiston, Huyton, Roby, Broad Green, Wavertree Tech Park, Edge Hill and Liverpool Lime Street

Eastbound services

Moston, Mills Hill, Castleton and Rochdale
Ashton-under-Lyne and Stalybridge
Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge, Mossley, Greenfield, Marsden, Slaithwaite and Huddersfield
  • 2tph to Leeds calling at:
Rochdale, Smithy Bridge (1tph), Littleborough (1tph), Walsden (1tph), Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd (1tph), Sowerby Bridge (1tph), Halifax, Bradford Interchange, New Pudsey, Bramley and Leeds
Moston, Mills Hill , Castleton, Rochdale, Smithy Bridge, Littleborough, Walsden (1800 service only), Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse, Mirfield , Ravensthorpe (Peak Hours only) , Dewsbury , Batley , Morley , Cottingley (peak hours only) and Leeds

Victoria Metrolink station

Victoria Metrolink Station
Location of Victoria in Greater Manchester
Place Manchester city centre
Local authority City of Manchester

53°29′15″N 2°14′30″W / 53.4874°N 2.2418°W / 53.4874; -2.2418

Grid reference SJ840990
Platforms 2
Fare zone information
Metrolink Zone D (City)
Present status In operation
Conversion to Metrolink operation 4 June 1992
UK Trams portal

Manchester Victoria is served by Manchester's Metrolink light rail system, at the northern edge of the City Centre zone, on the Bury Line. Metrolink services run through Victoria to Bury, Altrincham, East Didsbury, Oldham and Piccadilly. Trams enter Victoria station from Shudehill Interchange by crossing Corporation Street and Long Millgate and passing through a specially constructed arch in the station wall. From there they curve right and stop at the Metrolink platforms.

The Metrolink station is at the southern end of the station near the exits, occupying the site of the former Bury electric train platforms. The Metrolink station was built with three platforms, A, B and C; Platform A, close to the point where the trams enter the station, was used for Bury-bound trams, but is closed to the public because of leaks in the station roof. Platforms B and C are on an island platform further along the tracks.

The Metrolink system was opened in 1992, the result of a project to link Piccadilly and Victoria Stations with a rail line running across the city.[19] Earlier proposals involving an underground railway were abandoned but Greater Manchester Council secured funding for a light rail system. The system is based on conversion of selected British Rail lines to light rail operation, linked by on-street tram tracks. The Bury line to Victoria opened as a Metrolink line in 1992, replacing heavy rail services with Metrolink trams.

The Metrolink line from Victoria to Oldham opened on Wednesday 13 June 2012, replacing the long-established heavy rail line. Trams on this route run from East Didsbury, Chorlton through the city centre before continuing to Oldham and beyond. The Oldham extension runs via a temporary station,'Oldham Mumps', close to the site of Oldham Mumps Railway Station, which was demolished in 2010/11 after the Oldham Loop heavy rail line closed before its conversion to the Metrolink line. The Mumps section will be abandoned when work is complete and the line will divert from the old loop line to pass through the streets of central Oldham, via several new stations, including one in Oldham town centre. Services were extended from Oldham Mumps to Shaw along the Oldham loop line on 16 December 2012, to Rochdale railway station on 28 February 2013 and to East Didsbury on 23 May, 2013.

From 11 February 2013, services from Bury to Piccadilly were extended to Droylsden, and to Ashton-under-Lyne on 9 October 2013.

Service pattern

  • 10 trams per hour to Bury (5 tph off peak)
  • 5 trams per hour to Altrincham (peak hours only)
  • 5 trams per hour to Ashton-under-Lyne via Piccadilly
  • 5 trams per hour to Rochdale railway station via Oldham Mumps
  • 5 trams per hour to East Didsbury via Market Street





External links

  • Manchester Metrolink
  • More photos of the Metrolink at Victoria
Preceding station   Manchester Metrolink   Following station
toward Altrincham
Altrincham – Bury Line
Weekday 10am-4pm only
toward Bury
All other times
toward Bury
Bury – Ashton-under-Lyne Line
Weekday 10am-4pm only
All other times
East Didsbury – Rochdale Railway Station Line
    Under construction    
Terminus Oldham and Rochdale Line
Bury – Ashton-under-Lyne Line
Exchange Square
Second City Crossing Terminus
National Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Northern Rail Terminus
Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Mancheseter-Kirkby Line
Monday-Saturday only
Northern Rail
    Historical Railways    
Terminus L&YR
London and North Western Railway
Manchester-Liverpool Line

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