Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station

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Manchester metrolink logo.PNG Deansgate-Castlefield
Metrolink
G-Mex station, Manchester Metrolink - geograph.org.uk - 360043.jpg
Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station in 2007, then known as G-Mex Metrolink station
Deansgate-Castlefield is located in Manchester_Metrolink
Deansgate-Castlefield
Deansgate-Castlefield
Location of Deansgate-Castlefield in Greater Manchester
Location
Place Castlefield
Local authority Manchester
Coordinates 53°28′29″N 2°15′01″W / 53.4747°N 2.2503°W / 53.4747; -2.2503Coordinates: 53°28′29″N 2°15′01″W / 53.4747°N 2.2503°W / 53.4747; -2.2503
Grid reference SJ834975
Platforms 2
Fare zone information
Metrolink Zone D (City)
Present status In operation
Operations
Original operator Manchester Metrolink
History
Opened 27 April 1992 (1992-04-27)
As terminus
15 June 1992
For through services
Former name G-Mex
Renamed 20 September 2010
Portal icon UK Trams portal

Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station is a tram stop in the City Zone of Greater Manchester's Metrolink light rail system. It is located beside Deansgate, in the Castlefield area of Manchester city centre. It opened on 27 April 1992 as G-Mex Metrolink station, taking its name from the adjacent G-Mex Centre, a concert, conference and exhibition venue; the G-Mex Centre was rebranded as Manchester Central in 2007, prompting the Metrolink stop to be renamed on 20 September 2010.[1]

Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station serves as a transport hub by integrating with National Rail services from Deansgate railway station by a footbridge. Exits from the station lead to the Great Northern Warehouse, the reconstructed Mamucium Roman Fort, the Beetham Tower, and Deansgate Locks.

History[edit]

Manchester Central railway station, one of the city's main railway terminals, was built between 1875–80 by the Cheshire Lines Committee railway company and served as the terminus for Midland Railway express services to London. The station was notable as an engineering feat - its huge wrought-iron single-span arched roof, spanning 210 feet (64 m), 550 feet (168 m) long and 90 feet (27 m) high is claimed to be the widest unsupported iron arch in Britain after London St. Pancras.[2]

Following the Beeching cuts, the station was deemed surplus to requirements and closed to passengers on 5 May 1969. The listed building survived as a local landmark, and after serving as a car park, the old station was refrubished as re-opened as an exhibition and conference centre.

With the opening of the Metrolink system, rail services were able to operate once more from south Manchester to Central Station; however, instead of trains running into the Central Station arch, light rail vehicles now run alongside the south-eastern side of the former train shed, down a ramp which runs parallel to Lower Mosley Street, before reaching street level where they operate as trams and head towards St Peter's Square. The viaduct arches beneath the station, overlooking the Rochdale Canal, have since been refurbished and converted into the Deansgate Locks development comprising bars, restaurants and a comedy club.[3]

Deansgate Locks underneath the station.

Central Station featured in early proposals to build a light rail system in Manchester; the station featured in 1984 publicity with an interchange to Deansgate;[4] by 1987, the station had acquired the name 'G-Mex' and the system was now known as 'Metrolink'.[5]

In August 2010 Metrolink announced it would be changing the name of the stop from 'G-Mex' to 'Deansgate-Castlefield'. On 2 September 2010, signs at the stop were changed to 'Deansgate-Castlefield'; a couple of days later temporary vinyl GMEX stickers were placed on top which were removed on 20 September 2010 when the name change was made.

Service Pattern[edit]

Aerial shot of two trams passing at Deansgate-Castlefield, with the line through Deansgate railway station in the background. The A56 road passes under both lines.
Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station in 2013

North/East Bound:

  • 5 tph to Ashton Under Lyne (via Piccadilly)
  • 10 tph to Piccadilly (making 15 tph in total)
  • 5 tph to Bury
  • 5 tph to Rochdale Town Centre

South/West Bound:

  • 10 tph to Altrincham
  • 5 tph to East Didsbury
  • 5 tph to MediaCityUK (via Salford Quays)
  • 5 tph to Eccles (via Salford Quays, making 10 tph as far as Harbour City)

Future[edit]

It had been thought for some time that the second city crossing (2CC) expansion would require a third platform at the stop. However, 2011 proposals[6] show St Peter's Square as a major 4-platform interchange, putting the third platform at Deansgate-Castlefield into doubt. Manchester City Council was also known to be working on a proposal[7] to better integrate the tram stop and Deansgate railway station as well as creating a key interchange, which remain unaffected by the 2011 2CC proposals. At MIPIM 2010 proposals were unveiled [8] for a redevelopment of the area behind the conference centre. The ambitious scheme creates a pedestrian skypark walkway along the side of the conference centre to ground level creating better pedestrian access to both the conference centre and the city centre itself; a new bridge to link to Deansgate station, replacing the tired and unappealing original; and the creation of a new train shed on the viaduct for the tram stop's three platforms including access to ground level. The scheme linked to office development of the surrounding area could be operational by 2014 [9] and create a principal southern rail and tram interchange for the city centre similar to Victoria and Piccadilly. The plan is continuing but remains dependent on the proposed local redevelopment proceeding.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceding station   Manchester metrolink logo.PNG Manchester Metrolink   Following station
towards Altrincham
Altrincham – Bury Line
towards Bury
towards Altrincham
Altrincham – Piccadilly Line
towards Piccadilly
towards East Didsbury
East Didsbury – Rochdale Town Centre Line
Temporary
towards Eccles
Eccles – Ashton-under-Lyne Line
Under Re-development
towards Eccles
Eccles – Piccadilly Line
towards Piccadilly
Under Construction
Manchester Airport Line
Open between Manchester Airport and Cornbrook
Under Construction
Terminus Second City Crossing
towards Victoria