Network Rail will next week hold public consultation events to gather feedback on proposals for expanding Manchester's Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations as part of the £1bn Northern Hub programme.
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Passengers at Oxford Road station will see the railway viaduct widened and platforms lengthened to accommodate longer trains.
At Manchester Piccadilly station, Network Rail will install two extra platforms, 15 and 16, so that more trains can travel through the city centre.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: "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."
The specific benefits of the work will be:
- 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
In 2013, Network Rail consulted on two options to increase capacity at Oxford Road station and three options at Manchester Piccadilly station. The options were assessed according to cost, engineering difficulty and environmental impact.
Following the assessment the preferred options were selected as follows:
Manchester Oxford Road
Extending the railway corridor over Whitworth Street West was identified as the best performing alignment based on the assessment. 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: option C
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
Further detail of the proposals will be shared online and at several public consultation events.
The Oxford Road plans will be on show at Arch 68, Whitworth Street West, Manchester from Monday 15 September 2014 to Friday 19 September 2014, between 15:00 and 19:00 each day, and Saturday 20 September 2014 between 10:00 and 14:00.
The Piccadilly plans will be on show at the main concourse of Manchester Piccadilly station from Monday 15 September 2014 to Friday 19 September 2014 between 07:30 and 10:00.
Contact the project team at Hubconsultation-OxPicc@networkrail.co.uk or call 08457 11 41 41.
A planning application is due to be submitted in winter 2014. Construction could begin in early 2016. Trains are expected to start running on the new infrastructure in December 2018.
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