The Anonymous Widower

Victoria Gets A Posh Umbrella

Manchester Victoria was a terrible station, with a difficult connection to Manchester Piccadilly. The connection improved with the Metrolink, but as they are now rebuilding Victoria, it’s got worse again. As I’m now familiar with the walking route, I was able to put a couple right about the way to go.

There must be something in the Manchester civic psyche, that likes to confuse people.

But Victoria seems to be getting on with its rebuilding, which includes a posh roof over everything and a new footbridge.

Unfortunately, the electrification to Liverpool Lime Street seems to be having problems and it will be some months before Class 319 electric trains are working the route, hopefully before next spring.

It does look to me, that when complete, anywhere on the tram routes in Manchester will have easy access to the electrified Trans-Pennine links at Manchester Victoria, which could become an architectural icon of the North. You’ll get the tram to Victoria and then totally under the new roof, you’ll go through the ticket gates and across the fully-accessible footbridges to the appropriate platform to await your train.

In addition, those who arrive from London and the South at Piccadilly and are perhaps going on to places like Burnley, Blackburn and Hebden Bridge from Victoria, will have a completely dry route, which is of course important in Manchester, using the trams. The trams must use contactless bank card tickerting though to be compatible with what other cities, like London, are doing.

This is Network Rail’s page on the £44million work.

I think everyone will agree that it’s all a bit different to the concrete crap that British Rail built forty to fifty years ago, like Euston and Manchester Piccadilly, when those with special access needs or advanced age didn’t exist, as everybody was adult and fit as a butcher’s dog.

I can remember meeting a friend in the newly-opened extension to Kings Cross station and looking with amazement at the structure that had been created.

Why shouldn’t other rail stations be given an added wow factor?

Especially now, when we have the architects, computers, techniques and materials to build them in an affordable manner. How many stations could be rebuilt using the same methods as New Cross Gate?

Good stations, like good clean electric trains, have one common problem. They are passenger magnets and very often attract so many extra paying passengers, that we have to expand the system.

I have a feeling that after they see the completed scheme, they’ll be wanting some of their other architectural disasters like Salford Crescent and Oxford Road stations, at least given the treatment that Network Rail have applied at Huyton.

November 1, 2014 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. […] Victoria Gets A Post Umbrella […]

    Pingback by The Proof That Good Design Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive « The Anonymous Widower | October 6, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] image also shows the solid nature of the 2002 station roof, which is glass and not plastic like Manchester Victoria, Birmingham New Street and Crystal Palace […]

    Pingback by Leeds Station And The New Entrance « The Anonymous Widower | January 3, 2016 | Reply

  3. […] latest and one of the best is the new roof over Manchester Victoria station, which I wrote about in Victoria Gets A Posh Umbrella. Here’s one of my […]

    Pingback by The Shape Of Stations To Come « The Anonymous Widower | March 17, 2016 | Reply


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