Work on bringing Manchester Victoria station back to its former glory has gotten underway as part of a £44 million project.
Morgan Sindall is the company behind the restoration and one of the main features is a new glazed canopy which will cover the front of the building, originally constructed in 1844. Manchester Victoria is a Grade II-listed station but has been in urgent need of redevelopment in recent years. In 2009, government advisers named it among the top ten worst railway stations in the UK and demanded that funding was provided to ensure that they were brought up to code.
Among others named in this list included the likes of Clapham Junction and Crewe which were all highlighted as being "extreme examples" of a wider problem of stations that were falling way short of proposed minimum standard due to neglect and a lack of resources.
Speaking about the problem, the report stated: "The downsizing of 19th century stations has not been tackled comprehensively, and many stations need one-off investment in reducing or removing buildings to make them both more user friendly and cheaper to maintain."
Northern Rail stated that the scheme at Manchester Victoria will "future-proof" the station ahead of an electrification scheme that will connect the site with Liverpool and a line has already been approved to connect Victoria with nearby Manchester Piccadilly.
The improvements will have a significant impact on commuters with services between Manchester and Merseyside being increased to four every hour while six services will run between Manchester and Leeds every hour.
Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 and it marks yet another step in upgrading the north-west city's transport infrastructure. The Metrolink tram service is already in an expansion process which will see the likes of Didsbury, Rochdale, Oldham, Droylsden and Manchester Airport become more accessible from the heart of the city.
All plans are part of the Northern Hub development which aims to transform stations in the area into 21st century structures.
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