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Written by Richard Helliwell - 04 Jul 2006
last update by M Binns - 31 Dec 2006
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Location notes
Manchester Piccadilly, located in the heart of Manchester City centre, is the terminus of many different lines, particularly part of the West Coast Mainline to London Euston. It has 14 platforms a couple of which are through platforms.
Railway type and traffic
The station is served by a large amount of different railway traffic, which is mainly mainline passenger stock. The passenger trains include classes 142, 150, 156, 158, 170, 175, 185, 220, 221, 323, and 390. Occasionally a 153 is seen here, the only regular working been the 1715 Blackpool North service coupled with another unit. They are also seen on Arriva Trains Wales services depending on stock shortages. Also seen occasionally is a Pendolino drag through platforms 13 and 14 if the West Coast main line is shut for some reason. These mainly occur at weekends.
There are also various special workings on a regular basis, featuring Class 90s, Class 57s, HSTs.
Freight services consist of occasional 86 or 70 workings for Freightliner with the their main traction been 66s and 90s. DB Schenker workings consist mainly of 66s and 92s, with the very occasional stone train hauled by a 60. There are many light loco workings to and from Trafford Park.
The station is located in the heart of Manchester City Centre, on Fairfield Road. It is a potential crime area after dark, in some areas. Hanging around outside the station after dark is not recommended. Once inside the station, and in its immediate proximity, you should be absolutely fine, as it is completely secure, and is inside. It is in fact one of the 17 Network Rail operated stations.
Road directions
As with all large cities it would be better to park out of town and get the train in.

If you get to Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square, you must walk south west along Princess Street to the junction with the very busy Whitworth Street. Once at this junction, turn left onto Whitworth Street, and continue along it until you reach a fork junction in the road with Aytoun Street. Continue passed this junction still on Whitworth Street for about 200 metres, until you reach the junction with London Road. “The Bull's Head” pub should be on your right, and the station directly in front of you. The entrance is near the station taxi rank - you should find it easily.

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Manchester Piccadilly Station map co-ordinates
There is a car park opposite the entrance to the station, under the railway bridge where platforms 13 and 14 are, however, this is an open area, and your vehicle may be at risk. There is secure parking around the city centre however, including various multi-stories. Signs indicating the capacity of the city centre car parks are places all over the city centre - one is on Fairfield Road, directly opposite the taxi rank for the station.
Public transport
Taxis are around the city centre at all times, day and night. There are frequent bus services to and from the station, from either entrance. The free city centre buses are also available, which can be picked up anywhere in the city centre, and will take you to the station direct.

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There are lots of eating and drinking facilities in the station itself, including various bars selling alcohol. Public toilets are available inside the station, however as far as I know, you have to pay to use them.
There are lots of hotels in the city centre, however, Bed and Breakfasts are few and far between. The hotels are expensive, but they are the only accommodation in the vicinity of the station, without leaving the city centre. The Midland is a famous hotel, but is expensive.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Manchester Piccadilly Station

Googly map
Streetmap links
Manchester Piccadilly Station general view map
Manchester Piccadilly Station close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Manchester Piccadilly Station

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Photographic notes
Light is good at all places in the station, however, at around midday, the sun shines onto the platforms, and can cause big white areas on your pictures. Pictures are generally good in the early morning at around 7am, as the sun is not as high. Trains can be seen coming in and out of the station from all platforms, and Platform 3 at the very far end is best for getting photos of just outside the station.
Tripods are not advised as the station is often very busy and they will cause obstruction. Also, do not use flash!

General views - All photographs © Richard Helliwell unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking west

Fig 1 - Looking west

The view of platform 7 and 8.

Fig 2 - Looking west

Fig 2 - Looking west

The view of platform 3.

Fig 3 - Looking east

Fig 3 - Looking east

The view from platform 4.

Fig 4 - Looking west

Fig 4 - Looking west

One of the through platforms, platform 14.

Fig 5 - Looking west

Fig 5 - Looking west

The other through platform, 13.

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