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Victoria Station

It's been quite an external transformation over the years, the once dirty and grubby Victoria Station in the heart of Manchester is now clean, bright, and welcoming.

Stepping off the train you are left in no doubt as to where you are:

The platforms of Manchester Victoria railway station
Manchester Victoria

Now, let's not pretend that this a world-leading transport system, let's not even pretend that it is even a semi-functioning transport system, because it isn't but what it does have is incredible history and incredible architecture.

The tiled wall at one of the entrances is just sublime, the "Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway" maps out the journeys and the possible destinations to foreign shores.

The tiled wall showing the stations and stops
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway

Let's focus for a little now on the older parts of the station, the bits that survived the development and change, the bits that bring immense character to the place.

The ticket office is just pure theatre, from its ceiling to its deep brown timber facade, and historic little ticket windows. In years gone by this was a busy place as passengers queued to get their tickets - the days before the machines!

The wooden ticket office at Manchester Victoria Station
The Ticket Office

Once you had obtained your ticket then, of course, you might have wished to buy a book for the long journey and the bookstall (now the information centre) was the perfect place to do that.

The entrance to the Information Centre at Manchester Victoria Station
The Bookstall

The first-class passengers had their own waiting room, and there was a restaurant and bar there as well, it was all designed to help make the wait easier.

The architecture was and still is very eye-catching in its design and in its craftsmanship - the sign writers were clearly very skilled indeed.

The First Class waiting room and Restaurant
First Class and the Restaurant

Probably the hardest bits for the developers working on the station over the years has been how to preserve the history whilst making it actually work as a very busy station.

The entrance wall was retained but increased and you can see the old roof lines, where the station used to go to - these days there is an ultra-modern roof covering this and the metro station that adjoins it.

The view of the new and older parts of the station entrance
Manchester Victoria Station

The new roof allows the light to flood in, which was something the old station never did - it could be really dark and miserable during those colder months, but not anymore, just look at that open space!

The new roof of the Manchester Victoria railway station
The New Roof

Manchester Victoria is still a very busy and active station with trains arriving and departing all day and late into the night.

This is the view heading East out towards the Yorkshire border and beyond.

The tracks and platform at Manchester Victoria Station
The Tracks Heading East

and this is the view of the tracks as they head out West towards Salford, Bolton, Wigan, and the Merseyside coast.

The view along the tracks as they head out to the West
The Tracks Heading West

It is such a well-known transport hub, with more history and character than its brother up in Piccadilly for me, and I wonder what the next 20 years will bring.


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