Manchester Victoria station has been modernised at a cost of £44m.

UK: Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin unveiled a plaque on October 6 to mark the completion of a £44m modernisation of Manchester Victoria station, which is used by more than 7 million passengers/year.

The three-year project was managed by Network Rail, with BDP as architects and Morgan Sindall as principal contractor. Work was undertaken while the station remained open, with a scaffolding deck installed so that the station’s 7 000 m2 roof could be dismantled. It has been replaced with a new 8 500 m2 structure comprising 410 ETFE cushions supported by 2 000 tonnes of steelwork, including 15 ribs of which the largest is 96 m long and weighs 80 tonnes.

A 60 m bridge provides a high-level link between the station and Manchester Arena, separating event attendees from rail passengers to facilitate the installation of ticket gates. This also provides a mezzanine level with retail space and lifts giving step-free access to the platforms.

Heritage features at the station have been uncovered, and war memorials repaired and cleaned.

‘For far too long people travelling in and out of Manchester Victoria had to make do with a tired and dark station’, said Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne. ‘The contrast today is remarkable. Manchester Victoria station is modern, clean and flooded with natural light; a station this great city so badly needs. It is a key part of our £1bn programme to modernise the railway for the whole of the north of England.’