I went to see Victoria Station because of a tip on Ben-UK's fantastic Manchester page. As I said before, the information about Manchester in my guidebook was absolutely not sufficient, and I discovered so much more because of VT!!!
Victoria Station was built from 1838 to 1844, it was enlarged in 1909. Originally it was constructed by the Manchester and Leeds Railway.
The station is still in use, but retains its traditional look. To me, it looked so much like out of a period drama!!! The interior is old and wonderful, and there are some special things to look out for. The highlight is a big map of the old network of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, made of tiles. Another feature I liked were the old ticket counters, made of wood, and the tiled walls and entrances to the former offices.
Something really pretty can be seen outside, a canopy at the outer wall which bears the names of destinations around England. It looks out of place in the hustle bustle of modern Manchester, but it is a remainder of old times and I love the fact that it's still there.
If you like railways, or just have a fable for bygone days, you should not miss this gem!
Railway enthusiasts may be interested to visit Manchester Victoria train station, the city's second station (after Piccadilly). Completed in 1844 as a single-story building designed by George Stephenson, the station was home to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company and just inside the station there's a huge, original wall map made of tiles showing the company's routes (see 'more photos'). Along the entrance to the station is a canopy bearing the names of some of the original destinations. Inside the cavernous interior there are wood-panelled booking offices, shop and cafeteria recalling days when steam train travel was at its peak. At one stage Victoria boasted the longest platform in Europe when a platform 2,194 feet (669m) long linked Victoria to the since-demolished Exchange station.
These days Victoria is still an active train station and is a stop for the Metrolink tram on the Manchester to Bury line.