1830 Station Entrance, Science Museum Group, Via Science Musuem Group
Manchester-based Buttress Architects is leading the project to get the station a new roof. Credit: Science Museum Group

Restoration work begins on historic Liverpool Road station

Julia Hatmaker

The Science and Industry Museum’s grade one-listed 1830 Station in Manchester is the oldest surviving passenger railway station in the world.

Buttress Architects is hard at work repairing the structure, alongside contractors Heritage Conservation Restoration and 3D Scaffold.

The project is divided into two phases. The first phase has a £1.9m price tag and includes building a new roof, rainwater pipes and gutters. That phase is expected to finish in spring 2022. It is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

The second phase will include internal repairs and creating new learning spaces at the building, including a “locomotive experience”.

Restoration work is necessary as the station has deteriorated due to water damage over the past few decades.

When the station first opened, it was the Manchester terminus for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The station was the world’s first steam-powered, inter-city railway for both freight and passenger transport. Today it is the home of the Science and Industry Museum.

“The museum takes its duty of care very seriously,” said museum director Sally MacDonald. “We are conserving our globally significant buildings so that we can continue to tell the incredible stories of this heritage site and ideas that change the world.”

The museum will remain open throughout the restoration project, which is part of a wider scheme to both preserve historic buildings and make the museum more sustainable.

Earlier this month, the museum exited its lease of Lower Campfield Market, which housed its Air and Space Hall. At the time, the museum said that ending its lease would allow it to better care for its other historic buildings.

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“The museum takes its duty of care very seriously,” and “Are conserving our globally significant buildings so that we can continue to tell the incredible stories of this heritage site and ideas that change the world.”

Under their guardianship. One wonders why the museum has allowed it to deteriorate in the first place.

By Drew

Surely Edge Hill Station in Liverpool is just as old, and it is still in operation

By Forward Thinker

Totally agree Drew, just maybe if there was a South Kensington address for the site it wouldn’t have deteriorated…who knows?

By Simon

The current Edge Hill station is the second iteration, and in a different location to the original

By Red Rose

The Liverpool-Manchester railway was opened by Prime Minister Duke of Wellington (who invented rubber boots). When his train arrived at Liverpool Street station it was attacked by locals throwing rotten fruit, so they reversed sharpish. The train stopped back down the track where the PM hired a horse carriage and headed back to London. Not a lot of folk know that. It could be re-enacted as a tourist attraction.

By James Yates

Re James Yates: Hi was that in the Guardian at the time? Perhaps we could invite the current PM?

By Oh! Mr Porter