Manchester Oxford Road (MCO)

Manchester Oxford Road, the second busiest station in central Manchester, serves lines going East-West across the city.

Type: National Rail
Station code: MCO
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 5
The station was opened in 1849 by the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway (MSJAR) as Oxford Road. Originally the station was a small affair with a couple of platforms for services from the East including Manchester Piccadilly (then London Road). The station slowly expanded over the years with extra platforms and services added including West to Liverpool.

The station was rebuilt in 1903-4, with the platform layout redesigned. A further rebuilt took place in 1960 with the new station buildings with a roof that consisting of three overlapping cones, innovative architecture which found favour with a number of critics even Nikolaus Pevsner. The architect Max Clendinning intended the station to be imagined as a giant piece of furniture! [1]

Unfortunately the roof, which was mostly made from timber [2], has proven rather prone to leaking and has required regular attention. Further improvements of the station have taken place in the 1990s and 2010s as it has become steadily busier. It is proposed to lengthen the station platforms as part of the Northern Hub project though this would require the knocking down of a number of adjacent properties, the station being in an awkward trapezium shaped site.

The station is served by Northern, Trans Pennine Express, Transport for Wales and East Midlands Trains.
TPE 185 444 departs

View down the platform

Station sign

Notice the canopies

Station frontage

A TPE train prepares to depart

[1] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 78
[2] Bruce Peter, The Changing Face of British Railways (Lily Publications, 2018) p. 139