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  • Improving the railway at Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations

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    What would the station look like when the proposed works are completed? This 3D animation shows Oxford Road with the widened railway at Whitworth Street West, and Piccadilly’s new viaduct supporting platforms 15 and 16, and the extended footbridge.

  • We’re investing over £1bn to deliver faster, more frequent services across the north. The Northern Hub is part of this programme and has several key packages of work, two of which include:

    • Oxford Road station: widening the railway viaduct and lengthen platforms to accommodate longer trains
    • Manchester Piccadilly station: installing two new platforms, 15 and 16, so that more trains can travel through the city centre


    The Northern Hub will help meet growing demand for rail travel across the north and, critically, help stimulate economic growth by better connecting cities and towns.

    • Four extra trains an hour through Manchester, an increase from 12 to 16 trains an hour
    • Longer trains across the north of England with more seats
    • Capacity for faster services to overtake stopping trains, helping make services quicker and more reliable

    The plans: design

    In 2013 we consulted on two potential alignment options to increase capacity at Oxford Road station and three potential options at Manchester Piccadilly station.

    Based on guidance from the Department for Transport, the merits of each option were assessed against the following criteria:

    • Railway engineering, operation and maintenance
    • Constructability and access
    • Cost and benefits
    • Consents, environment and sustainability

    This assessment helped us decide upon a preferred option for each of the proposals:

  • Manchester Oxford Road

    Extending the railway corridor over Whitworth Street West was identified as the best performing alignment based on the assessment criteria. The plans for Oxford Road include:

    • Widening the existing railway in a north westerly direction over Whitworth Street West
    • Reconfiguring platforms and signalling to accommodate longer trains
    • Providing an opportunity to run longer eight car trains
    • Retaining the Grade II listed cast iron bridge over Gloucester Street
    • Building a new footbridge to provide improved access to the platforms
    • Providing a new covered pedestrian walkway along Whitworth Street West

    Manchester Piccadilly

    A new viaduct closely following the line of the existing railway represented the best performing alignment based on the assessment criteria. The plans for Piccadilly include:

    • New elevated platforms 15 and 16 with canopies
    • Widening the Castlefield viaduct on the southern side
    • Work within the station to connect the new platforms to the existing station building
    • Retaining the Grade II listed Star and Garter public house building
    • Reconfiguring the existing electrical substation near to London Road
  • Next steps

    Following an extensive period of public consultation Network Rail submitted an application to the Secretary of State for Transport on 18 December for the necessary powers to improve the railway at Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations.

    Any objections to, or other representations about the proposals should be sent to:

    Secretary of State for Transport c/o Transport and Works Act Orders Unit,
    General Counsel's Office, Department for Transport, Zone 1/18, Great Minster House,
    33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR.

    You can also contact them by email:

    An objection or representation must:

    • Be received by the Secretary of State on or before 6 March 2015
    • Be made in writing (whether sent by post or email)
    • State the grounds of the objection or other representation
    • Indicate who is making the objection or representation
    • Give an address to which correspondence relating to the objection or representation may be sent

    If you are sending your objection or other representation by e-mail, please provide a postal address and state "Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road Capacity Scheme TWA Order" in the subject of the email.

    Please note, the Secretary of State may make complete copies of the objections and other representations public, including any personal information in them, and will copy them to the applicant for the order.

    As well as the application documents, you can also visit our consultation website to read more about the development of the scheme and construction strategy. If you have any further questions on the proposals you can send them to us at our email address.

  • More information

    If you have any questions, contact the project team at or call our 24 hour helpline 08457 11 41 41.

    Application documents

    You can download copies of the application documents below.

  • Image gallery

    Artist's impression looking south at the new viaduct at Manchester Piccadilly

    Artist's impression looking north at the new viaduct at Manchester Piccadilly

    Artist's impression of Oxford Road station following completion of the rail improvement scheme

    Artisit's impression - view down Whitworth Street West following completion of the rail improvement scheme