Transport is a crucial aspect of any metropolitan area. With an influx of people moving to and fro, coming from afar, and travelling elsewhere, transport links are truly the lifeblood of a city. For this reason, Manchester has seen significant investment to ensure the steady and constant stream of commuters are able to travel with maximum ease and minimum fuss.
Manchester city centre features four main train stations each boasting a unique set of details, history, and function within the flow of the city. This series seeks to hone in on these stations and their quirks, and today the station in question is Victoria.
Manchester Victoria was built in 1844 – just two years after Piccadilly, with the intent of serving as an interchange connecting Liverpool to Yorkshire. While functioning as an interchange, this station came to adopt a dual purpose, serving also as a Metrolink tram stop for the north of the city.
The tram stops, built in 1992, links the station to the Bury and Oldham tram lines. The four tram lines serve as an addition to the train section of the station and allow commuters to easily travel into city and out to other towns with ease.
The station has a long and convoluted history of expansion and downsizing, with expansion of up to 17 platforms, and a subsequent downsizing to the 6-platform configuration it rests in currently. This change was invoked due to a reprioritisation of services toward Piccadilly station, which is the principal station of the city of Manchester.
The station architecture has seen many restorations and refurbishments, the most notable of which occurring in 2014. A somewhat overdue refresh of the station itself was carried out due to Victoria being voted the worst interchange station, prompting hasty improvements to the look and feel.
One of the major renovations carried out in 2014 was the introduction of the now iconic sweeping glass roof enveloping the station. This station is attached to the Manchester arena and being both an interchange and tram stop, it sees a hefty footfall, which necessitates the need for a nice interior.
Naming the Station
Unsurprisingly (given the period the station was built in) the name Victoria was derived from the queen at the time. This homage was only allowed with permission from the queen herself.
The Future of Victoria
Having been downsized by over half its platforms in the 90’s, and having had a refurbishment under a decade ago, the station is in no immediate need of renovation, and so for the moment the station lives in a fixed state.
What is changing is its surroundings, thanks to the New Victoria Scheme. This £185 million investment is to be carried out by Network Rail, Homes England, and Manchester City Council, and will see the development of two, 25 and 20-storey buildings.
This will provide 850 new homes in immediate vicinity of the station, as well as a proposed 150,000 sq ft 8-storey office building which will undoubtedly result in significant increase in footfall through Manchester Victoria Station.