Investment to improve Victorian drainage at Manchester Victoria station

Network Rail is starting work to prevent flooding around Manchester Victoria station which will provide a better experience and more reliable journeys for passengers.

The Department for Transport is investing £1 million in the critical scheme, which will bring drainage systems around the 166-year old station into the 21st century.

Drainage systems in the basement of the station will be connected to the River Irk, which runs underneath the station, providing a more efficient way of draining the station building for the 8.9million passengers who use it every year.

The drainage system underneath the road in front of the station will be completely replaced, and drainpipes on the historic station façade will be cleaned and maintained to ensure they are working at full capacity.

Work will begin on 28 June and is set to complete in October. For work to take place safely, a half road closure will be in place on Victoria Station Approach for nine weeks. As a result, diversions for pedestrians and motorists may in in place. Train services from Manchester Victoria will be unaffected by the work.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Bringing Manchester Victoria’s drainage system from the Victorian era into the 21st century will help give passengers the reliable services they deserve, reducing frustrating disruptions.

“This is part of a wider £10 million rail investment to reduce the risk of flooding in the Manchester area, which will help protect the city and surrounding area from damage and delay.”

Rory Kingdon, senior sponsor at Network Rail, said: “It’s a testament to Victorian engineering that so much of the infrastructure our predecessors built is still surviving and thriving, but the time is right to bring the drainage systems at Manchester Victoria into the 21st century.

“Carrying out this work now should mean less passengers are affected by any disruption around the station, and we’ll be ready to welcome back travellers to a warm and dry station when it’s safe to do so.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “Manchester Victoria is a landmark station and a real link to the history of the railway in the north west. We want to preserve that history for future generations, but also make it fit for purpose in modern Manchester. The work being carried out by Network Rail will provide countless unseen improvements and deliver a new drainage system that will reduce the impact of extreme weather on our services.

“There will be some disruption in and around the station as the work is completed, but our services will continue to operate, getting those customers who have essential journeys to make where they need to be.”

Government guidance is to avoid public transport and only travel by train if you absolutely have to – and if you do, wear a face covering, avoid peak times if possible and maintain a two-metre distance from other passengers.

Passengers making essential journeys to or from Manchester Victoria are advised to check before travelling at www.nationalrail.co.uk and leave more time for their journey as diversions may be in place around the station for motorists and pedestrians.

Photo credit: Network Rail