The Anonymous Widower

Improvements On Platforms 13 And 14 At Manchester Piccadilly Station

The through platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly station have in the past when I’ve used them been very congested and crowded.

But look at these pictures.

Compare them with this picture taken in April 2018.

Where has all the platform clutter in the earlier picture gone?

It certainly enabled travellers to get on and off the trains easier, although many were still crowding around the stairs at the Western end of the platforms.

I asked a Network Rail guy on the platform, if it was better without the buildings on the platform. He said two things.

  • Passengers don’t move down the platforms.
  • Drivers don’t tend to stop in the best place for passengers.

I do wonder, if the large number of two-car trains, that seem to use the platform doesn’t help.

The pictures show, that I’d arrived in a six-car Class 185 train, which because of its length stopped towards the Eastern end of the platform.

There was a bit of crowding as the train loaded, but not as bad as that on the four-car Class 319 train to Blackpool, when I left. But it was a sunny Saturday!

I do wonder, if passengers think, that their train will be only two cars, they tend to get to the platform early and create overcrowding.

It seems to me, that it will be quite likely, that the length of trains will be increased in the next few years.

  • As electrification increases, some of Northern’s two-car diesel trains will be replaced with four-car electric trains.
  • Transport for Wales have said they’ll run longer trains.
  • TransPennine Express will replace the Class 185 trains with longer units.

Although this will probably increase traffic to these platforms, paradoxically, the longer trains might reduce congestion.

It should also be noted that most trains going through Platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly station call at one or more of the following stations.

In addition, Salford Central station may be expanded with extra platforms.

The more stations each train calls at in Central Manchester, the less will be the passenger footfall at each station, as not everybody wants to use Piccadilly.

As an aside, I wonder if more trains should call at Deansgate, which has excellent Manchester Metrolink connections, which are certainly less walking than those at Piccadilly.


I’m led to the conclusion, that the various plans for Manchester’s railways may lead to taking the pressure from the through platforms at Piccadilly.

By making it easier for passengers on these platforms, better access and facilities can be added as required.

I think it is highly likely, that with modern digital signalling and improvements to Deansgate, Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations, that it may be possible to avopid adding extra platforms at Piccadilly,




July 25, 2018 - Posted by | Transport |

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