Manchester Exchange railway station

Manchester Exchange was a railway station in Salford, England, immediately north of Manchester city centre, which served the city between 1884 and 1969. The main approach road ran from the end of Deansgate near Manchester Cathedral, passing over the River Irwell, the Manchester-Salford boundary, and Chapel Street; a second approach road led up from Blackfriars Road. Most of the station was in Salford, with only the 1929 extension to Platform 3 east of the Irwell in Manchester.

Manchester Exchange
Thomas Cook Building Manchester Cathedral.jpg
A postcard illustration of Manchester Exchange railway station in 1904, seen looking up Cathedral Approach
Grid referenceSJ837988
Original companyLondon and North Western Railway
Pre-groupingLondon and North Western Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
30 June 1884Opened
16 April 1929Platform 3 extended to link with Victoria platform 11
5 May 1969Closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
Remains of Manchester Exchange railway station in 1989

Construction and openingEdit

The station was built by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) and opened on 30 June 1884.[1] The station had five platforms with Nos. 1 and 2 being bays and Nos. 3, 4 and 5 being through.[1] Platforms Nos. 4 and 5 were reached by a footbridge from near the station entrance. The opening of Exchange allowed the LNWR to vacate Manchester Victoria station to the east, which it (and its predecessors, including the Liverpool and Manchester Railway) had shared with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (and its predecessors) since 4 May 1844.[2][3] From 16 April 1929, Exchange had a platform link with the adjacent Victoria, when an eastward extension of platform No. 3 over the Irwell bridge was opened, meeting Victoria's platform No. 11, thus creating Europe's longest platform at 2,238 feet (682 m); it could accommodate three trains at once.[4][5]

Eastbound goods train in 1966


Exchange station served Liverpool Lime Street; Huddersfield; Leeds; Hull Paragon and Newcastle Central; also Warrington Bank Quay, Chester and North Wales. Local LNWR passenger trains operated via Walkden to Bolton Great Moor Street and via Tyldesley to Wigan North Western.

View westward, along Platforms 2/3 in 1966

The station originally provided alternative services from Manchester to London Euston. Between 1884 and 1943, the Great Western Railway operated a competing passenger train service from Chester General station via Frodsham, Warrington Bank Quay and Eccles to Manchester Exchange.

Second World War damageEdit

The station suffered hits by several German incendiary bombs during the Christmas 1940 Manchester Blitz. On 22 December, the station roof was severely damaged, portions of which were never replaced. Fires took extensive hold on the building which could not be re-opened for passengers until 13 January 1941.[6]


The railway station was closed on 5 May 1969[7] and all remaining services were redirected to Manchester Victoria.

Despite closure, the station remained operational for newspaper trains until the 1980s. Manchester produced several 'northern editions' until the newspaper revolution. The nighttime operation was very busy with several trains being loaded and readied for departure to various trans-Pennine destinations (Halifax / Huddersfield / Leeds / York etc.).

After many years of remaining relatively intact (with trains still running beneath the train shed until the track layout was redesigned), it continued to operate as a car park for some years.

In July 2017, Q-Park opened a brand new car park called Deansgate North, restoring the original red brickwork of the Exchange Station.

Location mapEdit

Railway Clearing House 1910 map of central Manchester showing the railway system at that date and the position of Exchange station at the end of the LNWR line from Liverpool via Eccles (marked in red)


  1. ^ a b Rose 1987, p. 121
  2. ^ Marshall 1970, p. 62
  3. ^ Marshall 1969, pp. 57–58
  4. ^ Joyce 1982, p. 23
  5. ^ Marshall 1970, p. 67
  6. ^ Hall 1995, p. 90
  7. ^ Butt 1995, p. 153
  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995), The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens, ISBN 1-85260-508-1
  • Hall, Stanley (1995), Rail Centres: Manchester, Ian Allan Ltd, ISBN 0-7110-2356-5
  • Joyce, J. (1982), Roads and Rails of Manchester 1900-1950, Ian Allan Ltd, ISBN 0-7110-1174-5
  • Marshall, John (1969), The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, volume 1, Newton Abbot: David & Charles, ISBN 0-7153-4352-1
  • Marshall, John (1970), The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, volume 2, Newton Abbot: David & Charles, ISBN 0-7153-4906-6
  • Rose, R.E. (1987), The LMS and LNER in Manchester, Ian Allan Ltd, ISBN 0-7110-1708-5

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Ordsall Lane
Line open, station closed
  LNW   Manchester Victoria
Line and station open

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 53°29′10″N 2°14′47″W / 53.4861°N 2.2463°W / 53.4861; -2.2463