The £44 million transformation of Manchester Victoria is underway with contractors on site preparing to construct a spectacular new roof.
Scaffolding is going up prior to a temporary roof deck being installed. Work can then begin on dismantling the old roof. The station will remain open during the work. The new roof is part of a scheme to bring the station up to 21st century standards and turn it into a major regional interchange.
Manchester Victoria will emerge into natural light with a better, brighter and more open concourse. The project includes a new ticket office, waiting room and toilets. The station’s famed features, including the glazed canopy at the front of the building, will be carefully restored.
Says Network Rail’s route managing director, Dyan Crowther, ‘Manchester Victoria is becoming increasingly busy and with even more trains and passengers set to travel through this historic station in the future, it’s vital that we invest now to create a station fit for the needs of passengers in the years ahead.’
The refurbishment will also including the war memorial, the glass dome and the Soldiers Gate. Says Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, ‘While it is a very popular station, Manchester Victoria is still punching below its weight. It’s been prevented from achieving its full potential, particularly in architectural terms, because of a lack of investment in recent years. So I am delighted that work is now beginning to transform it into an outstanding, heavyweight destination befitting its heritage and its strategic importance both now and long into the future.’
The works will future-proof the station, allowing for the imminent electrification of the line to Liverpool and will allow for improvements to services included in the Northern Hub rail capacity expansion scheme which could see the numbers of people using the station double by 2019, with faster, more frequent trains running to Leeds and Liverpool.
Says Lee Wasnidge, Area Director, Northern Rail, ‘Complementing the wider Northern Hub and electrification capacity enhancements, these improvements will ensure that Manchester Victoria provides a fitting gateway to the city. This scheme will preserve the heritage of the station while providing a bright and modern environment for passengers.’
Funding for the station transformation is being provided jointly by Network Rail, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.