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British Industrial History

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Manchester London Road Railway Station

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1840 A section of the new Manchester and Birmingham Railway was opened between Heaton Norris and a temporary station at Travis Street in Manchester.

1841 the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway also began running into Travis Street.

1842 May 8th: Store Street station opened for use of both companies; it later became known as London Road.

London Road was the terminus for two trunk lines approaching the city from the south and east - the Manchester and Birmingham Railway from Stockport and Crewe, and the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway, which ran only as far as Godley, but would eventually be extended to Sheffield via the Woodhead route.

Even in the early days, it was clear that the dead-end terminal at London Road would need to be connected to the other railway lines serving Manchester. The Manchester and Birmingham and the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester companies proposed an extension of their lines, which would skirt the southern part of Manchester city centre on a 2.4 km (1½ mile) viaduct and join the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Ordsall Lane in Salford. This was promoted as the South Junction Line. A branch line was also proposed, leaving the South Junction line at Castlefield (west of today’s Deansgate station) and travelled beside the Bridgewater Canal to Altrincham. This became the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway

The station was enlarged and considerably altered in the mid 1860s.

1864 '..... London Road station, we are assured by those who best know what lies beneath the surface, would then present to the eye of the beholder a number of brick piers supporting columns higher than the Manchester Exchange; upon the top of these a vast network off Messrs. Fairbarn's casting - what one might term a Cyclopean gridiron - and perched on this we should see the station buildings, much loftier of themselves than their huge skeleton of a fondation. The whole would give an elevation of about 140 feet from the roof to the ground. Very few probably of the multitudes who have passed through the station every day of their lives for years were conscious of the great extent of the "first floor" on which they rode or stepped. The whole acreage of the crowded station yard, both for goods passenger trains must, of course, be on a level with the viaduct from Ardwick. When the necessity arose for expanding this artificial table land still further over the streets below, and to place upon it larger and heavier structures than those it had hitherto borne, the arches on which it rested were not sufficient, and it was necessary to add the strength of the iron columns that have been mentioned. In sinking piers for the columns the old bed of Shooter's Brook, with its mud and decayed grass was come upon and pierced through, and a solid bottom was found on the rock at a point about 38 feet below the present roadway of London Read and Birmingham-street. ....'[1]

1881 the London Road terminus was rebuilt as a curved island platform connected to the main-line station via a footbridge. This arrangement survives today as the busy Platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station.

1960 The station was renamed Piccadilly.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Times - Saturday 12 November 1864