Manchester Liverpool Road railway station

Liverpool Road railway station, Manchester.jpg
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Liverpool Road is a former railway station on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in Manchester, England, which opened on 15 September 1830. The station was the Manchester terminus of the world's first inter-city passenger railway in which all services were hauled by timetabled steam locomotives. It is now the world's oldest surviving terminal railway station.

The station closed to passenger services on 4 May 1844 when the line was extended to join the Manchester and Leeds Railway at Hunt's Bank. Liverpool Road was superseded by Manchester Victoria railway station for passenger services. Like its counterpart terminal station at Liverpool Crown Street the station was converted to a goods yard. Since Liverpool Road ceased operation, the oldest railway station still in use is Broad Green railway station in Liverpool which also opened on 15 September 1830. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened starting from the Liverpool Terminal at Crown Street, hence the older stations start from Liverpool.

The station, which is a Grade I listed building, is now part of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

As a consequence of opposition from the proprietors of the Mersey and Irwell Navigation, it had been intended to terminate the railway on the Salford side of the Irwell. A last minute agreement brought about a change in plan. The river would be spanned by a two arched stone bridge, incorporating a cart road for the use of the Navigation company. The real problem was how to cross Water Street. The levels would not permit an arched bridge to the dimensions demanded by the Manchester Highway Commissioners. The only alternative was a flat span across a distance judged to be too wide. Fortunately, William Fairbairn, in the quest to perfect fireproof mill flooring, had developed a parabolic 'T' section girder that could span such a distance. Thus, the Water Street bridge might be said to be the first modern girder bridge.

The station itself comprised a slightly curved brick viaduct that terminated in the slope that led up from Water Street to Deansgate, alongside Liverpool Road. The viaduct fronted a solid brick warehouse, a construction that owed much to canal warehouses, beyond which was a low-level yard that was excavated into the hillside. There was a wooden transit shed at the viaduct end, on the corner of Liverpool Road and Byrom Street and turnplates gave access to coal drops at the end of the yard. Of course, at that time, goods traffic was considered the most important potential source of income, and for this, the terminus was well placed in the midst of the Castlefield canal and warehousing complex.

Provision for the passengers was something of an afterthought. An existing house on the corner of Liverpool Road and Water Street was purchased for the use of the 'Station Agent'. A brick structure was erected next to it, incorporating elaborate door and window surrounds, the whole being finished in stucco rendering, scored to imitate stonework. The most curious feature was the positioning of a sundial over the first class entrance.

This page was last edited on 4 June 2018, at 13:37 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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