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McLoughlin officially opens refurbished Manchester Victoria

RTM attended the formal reopening of Manchester Victoria station today (6 October) following its £44m refurbishment.

At the official presentation, delegates from Network Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), contractor Morgan Sindall and many more attended the event to see transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin unveil a plaque declaring the new station open at a ceremony beside Soldiers’ Gate.

IMG 0879Once voted the worst station in Britain, Manchester Victoria now boasts a vast new roof made from the same material used at the Eden Project, giving train passengers and station users a light, spacious environment.

The roof is held up with 15 giant steel ribs, the largest of which 96m in length and weighs around 80 tonnes. Last year, we caught up with project manager Jed Hulme of Severfield, the Bolton-based structural steel company responsible, just after the ninth and biggest of the 15 ribs had been installed.

A new 60m bridge has been built creating a new mezzanine level link between the station and the arena, which includes retail spaces and a lift, making the station fully accessible.

McLoughlin told RTM that Manchester Victoria “oozes” history and the refurbishment has married the old and the new together seamlessly.

Victoria Facade

“I want to congratulate everyone involved in this remarkable project. It’s fantastic to see Manchester Victoria once again a station fit for the city. It’s now a symbol of opportunity, not neglect, and proof that this one nation government is building the Northern Powerhouse,” he said.

The project also includes upgraded Metrolink facilities, which now has four new tram platforms and three new tracks – delivering a truly integrated transport hub.

New Concourse Evening

We also spoke to Network Rail’s chief executive, Mark Carne, who said he was very proud of the team that delivered the project and how they managed to “integrate extraordinary design with the extraordinary history we are proud of in our railway”. 

IMG 0895

At the ceremony Martin Frobisher, route MD for Network Rail, formally handed the station back to Alex Hynes, MD of Northern Rail, the train company that manages its day-to-day running.

RTM will have full overage of the re-opening, including more pictures and interviews, in our upcoming October/November edition. 


Al   06/10/2015 at 12:54

Great news but shame about the bouncy tram trains that Northern still have that use the station. Some new (not second class capital connect trains hand-me-downs) are badly needed for the North of England

David Spencer   06/10/2015 at 13:24

Mr Mcloughlan proudly opened ONLY half the station this morning. This half indeed is a splendid tribute to both contractor and other partners in bringing about the new roof and an unquestionable modernised feel. HOWEVER this is ONLY half the station. The main line platforms 3 to 6 ARE A DISGRACE. The building of the "Madison Square garden arena" above these platforms has created a UK version of the present day Pennsylvania Central station in New York. All is dark and Dingy with poor lighting all for want of a lick of paint and better lights. Both Transport for Greater Manchester (Customer Services) and NorthernRail Operator and Customer Services) have responded to me saying that not much can be done about it and they agree platforms 3-6 inclusive cannot be much improved. I have written to Councillor Fender - Chair of the Management Committee of Transport for Greater Manchester without a reply. If RTM are to cover the proud moments of the refurbishments of Victoria station they should also cover the dingy bits with no future - the part of the station where most of the railway revenue is earned from intercity services transpennine and the vast number of commuters arriving at Victoria every day. This part of the station is still the worst station in the UK. Lord Adonis would be astonished that his comments for this half of Victoria have been ignored.

Andrew Gwilt   06/10/2015 at 15:00

Since Manchester Victoria has been upgraded and revamped. I may of heard that Manchester Oxford Road may also need some improvements with its 4 platforms and the whole station to be upgraded & refurbished and possibly Manchester Piccadilly to also be revamped and to introduce more trains by build extra platforms if that's also part of the Northern Powerhouse scheme.

Interested Rail User   06/10/2015 at 20:35

Disgrace is the right word for the through platforms of Manchester Victoria. The only thing to do with that area is to move the Arena elsewhere, flatten the buildings and build an entirely new station on the site and nearby land, which can also be the terminus for HS2, instead of the few cramped dead end terminal platforms planned for the east side of Piccadilly. It can also be the through station for the proposed HS3 running across the Chancellor's "Northern Powerhouse", with full interconnectivity. Manchester will then have a station that is fit for purpose and commensurate with its position as Britain's most important City after London.

Wimg   07/10/2015 at 19:58

Doesn't sound too charming all these comments , planning to see Birmingham New Street one of these days. I only know Piccadilly from recent travels , what stunned me were all the dirty oil pans between the main platform tracks. = My 2 p.

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