Network Rail has revealed a new image of the future station at Manchester Victoria.
The new visual shows how the station could look ‘in less than five years time’.
They are an early indication of how the station could be transformed into a major regional interchange, with plans for wider investment being developed separately as part of the Northern Hub scheme.
With this added investment, improvements to the railway in the region would top £700m, including newly electrified lines between Manchester and Liverpool.
Graham Botham, Programme Sponsor, Network Rail said:
“This is great news for passengers at Victoria. The numbers of people using the station could double by 2019, with faster, more frequent trains eventually to Leeds and Liverpool as part of the Northern Hub plans, so we need a station that reflects Manchester’s vibrant city centre.
“Our plans see Victoria transformed by the end of 2014, acting as a further catalyst in an area where the Co-operative Group is regenerating 20 acres of land around the station. That’s why we have been working so closely with the city council and English Heritage to resolve any planning issues resulting from the station’s listed status.”
Plans for the station include a brand new, state of the art roof will flood the station with natural light rather than rain. It is likely to be made of ETFE – the material used at Piccadilly station and the Eden Project.
The £20m cost is to be split between Network Rail (£16m) and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) (£4m).
The improvements future proof the station allowing for the imminent electrification of the line to Liverpool and would allow for improvements to services included in the Northern Hub proposals by Network Rail.
Network Rail and TfGM are developing plans to improve Victoria station yet further. These include new shops and cafes, better Metrolink facilities, new and improved links to the MEN arena and refurbishment and renewal of the Grade II listed station building.
A public consultation will be held on the plans. This is likely to take place in the autumn before a listed building application is submitted to the city council in the winter. If consent is granted early, construction would begin in Summer 2013 with completion by Winter 2014.