Manchester Victoria station
Victoria Railway Station in October 2009
|Place||Manchester city centre|
|Local authority||City of Manchester|
|Number of platforms||6|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|1993–96||Northern portion reconstructed|
|National Rail – UK 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 and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Manchester Victoria railway station in Manchester, England is the city's second largest mainline railway station and one of nine Metrolink tram stops within the city zone. It lies to the north of the city centre on Hunts Bank, close to Manchester Cathedral. Victoria is Manchester's tertiary station (after Piccadilly and Oxford Road) in the Manchester station group and the busiest station managed by Northern.
The station predominantly hosts local and regional services to destinations in Northern England, such as Rochdale, Bradford, Leeds, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Wigan, Southport, Blackpool and Liverpool using the original Liverpool to Manchester line. Most trains calling at Victoria are operated by Northern, except for TransPennine Express services from Liverpool to Newcastle and during engineering works, when some trains are diverted from Piccadilly.
Manchester Victoria is also a major interchange of the Metrolink light rail system. Several former railway lines into the station have been converted to tram operation: The line to Bury was converted in the early 1990s as part of the first phase of the Metrolink system, and the line through Oldham to Rochdale was converted during 2009–2014. Trams switch to on-street running once they emerge from Victoria Station and continue southwards through the city centre to Piccadilly or Deansgate-Castlefield.
In 2009, Victoria was voted the worst category B interchange station in the United Kingdom. The station underwent a two-year £44 million modernisation programme from 2013 which was completed in August 2015. Renovation entailed electrification of lines through the station, a new Metrolink stop with an additional platform, restoration of listed features, upgraded retail units, and a new roof. As part of the Northern Hub plan, Victoria will become the rail hub for trans-Pennine services when the Ordsall Chord is completed in 2018, and passenger numbers are expected to rise to 12 million when the station serves more destinations.
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 a long, low single-storey building designed by George Stephenson and completed by John Brogden on 1 January 1844. It was named Victoria by permission of Queen Victoria. 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.
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 its facade, in 1909. The enlarged station was erected on land consecrated as a burial ground on 1 January 1815 by the Bishop of Chester; it was acquired by the Manchester and Leeds Railway in 1844. The enlarged station had 17 platforms. Wealthy commuters travelled from Blackpool and Southport 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. The non-stop services were abandoned in the early 1960s.
The Edwardian station has a 160 yards (146 m) façade with 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 that operated most trains from the station between 1847 and 1923, when it became a constituent of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Canopies covering the waiting area for taxi cabs damaged in the Provisional IRA 1996 bombing have been restored. The cast-iron train sheds behind the façade are 700 yards (640 m) long. The station was approached by a wooden footbridge over the River Irk until the river was culverted.
In 1884 Manchester Exchange Station, operated by the rival London and North Western Railway, was built alongside Victoria and after 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 at this time.
In the early 1970s, the Picc-Vic tunnel project proposed building an underground station, Victoria Low Level. The tunnel project was cancelled and rail improvements concentrated on 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 not return after World War I.
Manchester Arena was joined to the station between 1992 and 1996 by means of a raft above the station's through platforms. It is accessed via stairs on Hunts Bank and from the station concourse. During its construction the station was reduced in size from 14 platforms to 6. Two of the former six through tracks were removed, along with the overall roof and several platform buildings. Platforms 1 and 2 are now bay platforms facing east (formerly platforms 9 and 10), with through platforms 3 to 6 (platform 3 was formerly platform 11) carrying mid-distance services.
In 2009 the station was identified as the worst category B interchange station because of its dilapidated 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. Victoria's £5m share of the 'Better Stations' Network Rail funding for improvements was cancelled in the June 2010 budget cuts, but replacement funding was arranged. On 16 February 2010 Network Rail announced its intention to refurbish the station in the Northern Hub improvement proposals turning it into 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. Station improvements include an ETFE roof, restoration of its walls, exterior canopy and period features, new platforms for additional services, improved access to the Manchester Arena and improved retail and dining facilities.
The Ordsall Chord linking Victoria to Piccadilly will be operational in 2016 and additional platforms will be built by 2019 to provide extra capacity. It is anticipated that, as a result of re-routing services, passenger numbers will increase to 12 million by 2019, compared with 6.6 million in 2011/12. Construction of the Ordsall Chord will allow trains to run directly between Piccadilly and Victoria, shortening journey times on TransPennine Express routes between Manchester Airport and Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Hull and Scarborough. An express service from Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle via Victoria is operated by TransPennine Express. Reinstatement of the south and west curve at Todmorden on the Caldervale Line facilitated 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 Victoria to Liverpool, Preston via Bolton, and Blackpool, and on the North TransPennine route to York via Leeds, allowing most services to be operated by electric traction.
Work on restoring the station began in April 2013. The old roof was dismantled in autumn 2013. Installation of the £17 million ETFE roof began on 4 May 2014, and the 15th and final roof beam was lifted into position on 13 October 2014. Installation of the ETFE sheeting was completed in spring 2015, and the station upgrade was completed in August 2015, with the official reopening that October.
Portions of the new roof collapsed in October 2016.
National Rail services
Manchester Victoria is served by two train operating companies, primarily Northern and TransPennine Express for its Liverpool to Newcastle service. It is occasionally used by CrossCountry services during engineering works.
Northern operates 150 or 156 Sprinter and Class 142 Pacer DMUs on most train services around Manchester, while Northern Electrics operate a westbound service to Liverpool via the Chat Moss route using Class 319 EMUs, following electrification of the line and station.
The Leeds Calder Valley services are usually operated by British Rail Class 150, 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.
Sometimes night services between Manchester Airport and York operate via Manchester Victoria, but do not call and continue via Ashton-under-Lyne to rejoin the usual route at Stalybridge, or continue through Rochdale and Hebden Bridge before reaching Huddersfield. A limited service between Manchester Airport and Victoria via Salford Crescent operates calling at Salford Crescent, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.
- 2 trains per hour (tph) to Wigan Wallgate (via Bolton)
- 1tph to Kirkby (via Atherton)
- 1tph to Southport (via Atherton)
- 1tph to Blackpool North
- 1tph to Clitheroe
- 2tph to Liverpool Lime Street (1 express, 1 stopping)
- 1tph to Blackburn via Todmorden
- 1tph to Stalybridge (stopping)
- 1tph to Huddersfield
- 3tph to Leeds (2 via Bradford Interchange & 1 via Dewsbury)
- 1tph to Newcastle (express via Huddersfield, Leeds and York)
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Ribble Valley Line
|London and North Western Railway
|Liverpool Lime Street||TBA
High Speed 3
|Liverpool Lime Street||TBA
High Speed 3
Victoria tram stop
Victoria Metrolink stop in October 2015
Location of Victoria in Greater Manchester
|Place||Manchester city centre|
|Local authority||City of Manchester|
|Fare zone information|
|Metrolink Zone||D (City)|
|Present status||In operation|
|Conversion to Metrolink operation||6 April 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 and Oldham and Rochdale Line. Trams enter Victoria station from the city-centre street section by passing through a specially constructed arch in the station wall. From there they curve right and stop at the Metrolink platforms.
The tram platforms at Victoria opened on 6 April 1992 with services to Bury, replacing the long established train service. The tram platforms were built on the site of the former railway platforms used by trains on the Bury Line, however the line was extended out into the streets, via a sharp curve running from the platforms and out through a new entrance in the side of the station; the result of a project to link Piccadilly and Victoria Stations with a tram line running across the city-centre. 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. In October 2009 the long established Oldham Loop Line was closed for conversion into a Metrolink line; reopening in stages to Rochdale town centre, completed in March 2014.
The original Metrolink platforms opened in 1992, consisted of one island platform containing platforms B and C, and a side platform for Bury bound trams lettered A, which was later taken out of use.
The Metrolink platforms at Victoria closed temporarily on 21 February 2014 for an expected period of nine months, to allow them to be rebuilt in a different configuration to allow for the expansion of services. However, in October 2014 it was announced that Metrolink services stopping at Victoria station would not resume until early 2015. The stop reopened on 18 February 2015 and trams began calling at the new platforms. The new configuration consists of two island platforms with three tracks; the outer platforms will be used for through trams, while the centre platform will accommodate terminating services.
As of 2016, Metrolink services run through Victoria to Altrincham, Bury, East Didsbury, Exchange Square, Oldham and Rochdale and Etihad Campus via Piccadilly. Services mostly run every six to twelve minutes on all routes.
|Preceding station||Manchester Metrolink||Following station|
|Altrincham – Bury Line||
towards East Didsbury
|East Didsbury – Victoria Line||Terminus|
towards Etihad Campus
|Bury – Etihad Campus Line||
towards East Didsbury
|Shaw and Crompton – East Didsbury Line||
towards Shaw and Crompton
|Rochdale Town Centre – Exchange Square Line||
towards Rochdale Town Centre
|Second City Crossing||Terminus|
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- "Manchester Victoria station redevelopment". Network Rail. n.d. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
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- "Injuries after Manchester Victoria Station roof collapse". BBC News. 18 October 2016.
- "Victoria Metrolink stop". TheTrams. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (1984). "Light Rapid Transit in Greater Manchester". GMPTE. – publicity brochure[dead link]
- "A Brief Rail History of Manchester". LRTA. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- "Metrolink History 1". LRTA. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- "Metrolink: Time to make Victoria posh" (Press release). Transport for Greater Manchester. 6 February 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "Manchester Victoria station's Metrolink stop to be completed in early 2015" (Press release). Network Rail. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- "Manchester Victoria Metrolink stop reopens in £44m upgrade". BBC News. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- "Metrolink tram times". Transport for Greater Manchester. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- "Metrolink route map (pdf)" (PDF). TfGM. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- Axon, William E. (1886). "The annals of Manchester: a chronological record from the earliest times to the end of 1885". Manchester and London: J. Heywood, Deansgate and Ridgefield. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- Bairstow, Martin (1987). The Manchester & Leeds Railway : the Calder Valley Line. M. Bairstow. ISBN 0-9510302-6-4.
- Ferneyhough, Frank (1980). Liverpool & Manchester Railway 1830–1980. Book Club Associates.
- Wray, Tom (2006). "Manchester Victoria Station".
- "Manchester Victoria rebuild is approaching completion". RAIL. No. 341. EMAP Apex Publications. 7–20 October 1998. p. 11. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Manchester Victoria station.|
- Train times and station information for Manchester Victoria station from National Rail
- Tram times and station information for Manchester Victoria station from Manchester Metrolink
- More photos of the Metrolink at Victoria