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Manchester Piccadilly station is the principal railway station of Manchestermarker in Englandmarker. It serves intercity routes to London Eustonmarker, Birmingham New Streetmarker, South Walesmarker and the south coast of England, Edinburghmarker and Glasgow Centralmarker in Scotlandmarker, and routes throughout northern England. One of 18 British railway stations managed by Network Rail, it is the largest and busiest of the five city centre railway stations in Central Manchester/Salford, the others being Manchester Victoriamarker, Salford Centralmarker, Deansgatemarker and Manchester Oxford Roadmarker.

Piccadilly is the busiest station in England outside London for passenger usage, and the second busiest station in the United Kingdom outside Londonmarker. 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 with the station; the national average was 60%.


The station was originally opened on 8 May 1842 and was initially known as Store Street station and as Bank Top station. It was the terminus of the Manchester and Birmingham Railway, who shared it from August 1844 with the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway. It was renamed London Road station in 1847, around the time the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway was formed (later to become the Great Central Railway). The Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway (MSJAR) opened its line from Manchester Oxford Road stationmarker to London Road on 1 August 1849 and built its own platforms adjacent to the main part of the station. These platforms were from then on referred to as the MSJAR or South Junction platforms. During the early 1880s the whole of the station was enlarged. The MSJAR platforms and the bridge over Fairfield Street were demolished and the new island platform, on new girder bridges, was opened on 16 May 1882.

During the first two decades of the 20th century, London Road station was served by the London & North Western Railway, the Great Central Railway and through 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. Even after nationalisation in 1948, London Road station was operated as two independent sides, separated by formidable iron railings located where platform 5 now is. On one side was the London Midland Region of British Railways; on the other was the Eastern Region.

In 1910 a second nearby terminus, Mayfield stationmarker, was opened to cope with the huge volume of passengers. It was closed generally to passenger trains by 1952 but remained in use until August 1960 for "overflow" local services and also for one major passenger train, the Pines Express from Bournemouthmarker to Manchester. It reopened as a parcels depot in 1970 but closed again. The long-disused building is visible across Fairfield Street from platforms 13 and 14.

London Road station was renamed to its present name of Manchester Piccadilly when it was rebuilt and reopened on 12 September 1960 for the new London Midland Region electric train services to Londonmarker. The MSJAR platforms and the bridges over Fairfield Street were replaced again at this time. The island platforms were built on top of a new pre-stressed concrete slab bridge with cantilevered sides for the tracks.

In the early 1970s, as part of the ill-fated Picc-Vic tunnel project, there were proposals to build an underground station, Piccadilly Low Level. The project was eventually 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 Linkmarker. The glass roof over the terminal platforms was completely replaced in the late 1990s. The train shed is a Grade II listed building. In 2001-2002, as part of preparations for the 2002 Commonwealth Games the remainder of the station was rebuilt, to designs by BDP, greatly increasing the size of the station concourse and improving access for road traffic.

The station's undercroft, (the two levels below the main rail platforms,) has been converted to provide two platforms for the Manchester Metrolink tram system, which opened in 1992.


National Rail station

The terminal part of the station consists of twelve platforms and generally service terminating/originating services with a longer stopover, while the busiest part of the station consists of platforms 13 and 14, the former MSJAR platforms, which are now used by through services via Manchester Oxford Roadmarker to North Walesmarker, Liverpoolmarker, North-Western England, Glasgowmarker and Edinburghmarker, including through services from Manchester Airportmarker and split into a and b sections to allow more than one train to stand at a time. These through services tend to have much shorter linger times.


The station side-wall showing the elevation of the platforms, which are on a level with the brown brickwork
Interior shot of the station with the Victorian trainshed.
The Fairfield Street entrance, at basement level, serves the car park, taxi rank, and the Manchester Metrolink station. Above, at track level, is a large modern concourse into which the main entrance from Piccadilly Approach feeds. It contains ticket offices, information points, seating, modern timetables, public toilets, shops (including, but not limited to, Sainsbury'smarker, WH Smiths and Thorntons) and food/drink outlets (including, but not limited to, The Upper Crust, Burger King and Starbucks). Above the concourse is a second level of food outlets (including KFC) and bars, as well as the Virgin Trains First Class Lounge.

On the main concourse, glass doors within a large glass wall lead to platforms 1 to 12 in the main trainshed. A travelator leads to the upper concourse linked by footbridge, steps and lift to platforms 13 and 14. This island lounge contains a WH Smiths and Costa Coffee bar, as well as customer toilets and a 'departure lounge' with seating. There are also vending machines and two waiting areas/snack bars on platforms 13/14.

Manchester Piccadilly is fully accessible for disabled people, including (as well as static stairs), escalators and lifts to all levels, wide access doors and gates, Braille, and hearing loops throughout, as well as disabled toilet facilities.

Manchester Piccadilly handles about 1,000 train movements daily.

Manchester Metrolink station

Manchester Piccadilly station is currently the terminus for Manchester Metrolink services to Burymarker, Altrinchammarker, and Ecclesmarker. The Metrolink station, situated in a vaulted undercroft underneath the mainline station, is one of eight serving Manchester city centremarker, within the system's City Zone. Trams running from Piccadilly Gardensmarker run down Aytoun Street, then cross onto London Road and run a short distance on segregated track, before crossing the road and entering the station undercroft through a tunnel entrance.

The station is the busiest on the Metrolink network. Under current arrangements, there is are separate arrivals and departures platforms; after arrival passengers disembark, the empty tram runs into a reversing siding in a tunnel, where it reverses and runs up to the departure platform. In earlier years a different arrangement was in place: one platform was used to handle all arrivals from Altrincham/departures to Bury, and the other platform was used for arrivals from Bury/departures to Altrinchammarker and all services to/from Eccles, with a crossover built just outside the station to allow access to and from either platform.

The tram station has recently gone under a major refurbishment, and is the first to display the new Metrolink corporate identity which was unveiled in 2008. Station signage now bears the yellow and silver livery which is to be applied to the new generation of trams from 2009.

Future plans

Piccadilly is currently the eastern terminus of the Metrolink system, but the track was constructed with eastward extension in mind. Proposals have been approved to build a 6-mile extension to Ashton-under-Lynemarker. The reversing sidings will eventually form part of this line which will run out of the north side of the station through Ancoatsmarker, Sportcitymarker, Claytonmarker, and along along Ashton New Road to Droylsdenmarker and Audenshawmarker.

In the early 1980s, original proposals for a light rail system were mostly based on converting existing railway lines to light rail operation (as with the Altrinchammarker and Burymarker lines). Under these original plans, eastward extensions from Piccadilly would have involved running Metrolink trams along the Glossop Line (to Hadfieldmarker and Glossopmarker) and along part of the Hope Valley Line (to Marplemarker and Rose Hillmarker), but these plans have since been abandoned.


Image:Piccadilly Metrolink Stop.jpg|Piccadilly Metrolink stop. It has been recently refurbished and displays the new Metrolink brand identity.Image:Piccadilly Metrolink Stop (2).jpg|The new station signs at Piccadilly.Image:Piccadilly Metrolink sign.jpg|The sign at Piccadilly.Image:Manchester Picadilly Station.jpg|Manchester Piccadilly Station (Interior)

( GMPTE stop information)

Shops and Food Outlets

Manchester Piccadilly Station also contains many shops and restaurants, including:

Previous stores include:


Manchester Piccadilly is currently served by six train operating companies.

Northern Rail

Services are also operated to the north and west of the city to places such as Boltonmarker, Liverpoolmarker, Prestonmarker, Southportmarker, and Wiganmarker.

These are operated by a variety of trains of Class 142, Class 150 and Class 156 Sprinter DMU, Class 180 or Class 323 electric units.

Arriva Trains Wales


East Midlands Trains

First Transpennine Express operate services on three routes.

Class 185 Desiro units now work the majority of services, replacing the class 158s on the North and South services, and the class 175s on the North West services. Most of the Manchester-Hull services are operated by Class 170 Turbostar units.

Virgin Trains

Northern Rail Class 323
First TransPennine Express Class 170.
Pendolino and Voyager Trains


  1. publicity brochure
  2. - map of the proposed network expansion
  3. - publicity brochure
Unofficial Train timetable for Manchester Piccadilly

External links

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