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Manchester Picadilly triin station is one of three main stations in the City, infact Picadilly is the largest with over 1000 trains coming in & out everyday, even Sundays.
It's owned by Network Rail who own 18 stations on the National Rail Network, Manchester Picadilly opened back in May 1842 & was originally known as Store Street station.
Manchester Picadilly handles trains from across the UK, with direct trains to most major towns & cities across the whole of the UK with trains from Glasgow & Edinburgh in Scotland, Newcastle, Durham & Middlesbrough in North East England, Scarborough, Hull, Doncaster, Sheffield & Leeds in Yorkshire, Birmingham in the Midlands, Cardiff & Swansea in Wales and London in the South to name just a few on the places on offer by train to & from Manchester Picadilly. Not to mention literally 100s on places in between.
Several train operators use Manchester Picadilly including Virgin West Coast, one of the UK's largest rail networks which streches from Scotland to London Euston with trains every 20minutes during the day. First Transpennine Express, with trains running via Manchester Picadilly from Manchester Airport & Liverpool to Scarborough, Hull, Middlesbrough & Newcastle across the Pennines. CrossCountry Trains who run services to the Midlands, Bournemouth and the South, Arriva Trains Wales with services to Cardiff, Swansea & Llandudno, East Midlands Trains to... well the East Midlands and Northern Rail who operate most of the local services & also services across the Leeds & Blackpool.
The station is light and airy, with plenty of ventilation but isn't actually that cold (but it's not warm of course). Theres 16 platforms in totel, platforms 1 - 12 are in the main concourse area where most trains terminate/commence from, then take the moving elevator up to the next level and you have platforms 13 & 14 which are split into 13A, 13B, 14A & 14B, these platforms are the busiest on the station with through trains heading for Liverpool & Blackpool.
The station has plenty of ammenities, toilets can be found up by Platform 13/14 or on the main station concourse opposite platforms 11 & 12 but bare in mind you have to pay for these. Theres a Northern & Virgin Information desks, Northern's is located near platform 10 and Virgin's is opposite platform 1, Virgin also operate the travel centre opposite platforms 1-6 where you can buy all rail tickets and get help & information. In the centre of the main concourse near platforms 3-5 you have another information booth by Network Rail for help & assistance. There are also 3 cash machines located near Sainsburys & platform 11 toilets. Theres a really nice First Class Lounge available upstairs for Virgin First Class ticket holders which has free internet, newspapers, drinks & snacks.
You also have many shops & cafe's including Upper Crust, Burger King, Starbucks, WHSmiths & Sainsbury's. Which is great way to pass the time waiting for trains.
The station has a huge departures & arrivals board which tells you the next train & platform it'll be on to your destination, theres also a small arrivals board on the wall where the platforms are for meeting passengers off trains. Also if your going to platforms 13/14 theres a small waiting area & an LCD display is on there too all of which are a very clear & easy to see & understand. Plus on each platform is a TV monitor to tell you the next train at that platform which helps you see it's deffinately the right one.
Access to the station is great with most buses in the centre terminating in or near Piccadilly Gardens your just minutes from the station, 3 free bus routes also run around the centre which stop at Picadilly Station too. Theres cycle spaces if you wish to ride there on your bike, plus a large taxi rank just outside the back of the station to collect taxi's or ride the Metrolink, Manchester's own light rail/tram system from across the city as Manchester Picadilly has it's own Metrolink station just below the main train station.
Piccadilly train station is the largest in central Manchester and within it you will find a number of facilities, so it is a good station to change at if you are planning to embark on a long journey.
There are a number of shops and food establishments within the station itself. You will find a Sainsbury's, a chemist, M&S Food, KFC, Burger King, Millie's Cookies, a pie shop, W H Smith, HMV, Tie Rack, Accessorize, two pubs, four coffee shops and a flower stall. This means that you can stock up for the journey ahead or mealy kill a bit of time.
There is limited seating in the station, so expect to crouch or eat while you walk if you are not sat down in a coffee shop or a pub.
There are toilet facilities, but you have to pay 30p to access them. This is a pain, especially if you have a lot of bags, a child with you, or you don't have change.
There are 14 platforms in total, each one is clearly marked and you can see if there are any delays by looking at the big information board in the centre of the station.
The transport links to and from the station are good. You can catch the Metrolink tram at the stop outside; this will take in the direction of Bury, Altrincham or Eccles. There are also free buses that link the station up with other areas of the city - including Oxford Road, Deansgate and Shudehill. Close to platform nine you will find the taxi rank.
You can also walk - it will take you around ten to fifteen minutes to walk to Piccadilly Gardens from the station, but I would advise against doing this at night. The station is located close to the red light district and there are often drunks walking by.
Overall I'd say it' a good train station with great facilities. However, if you arrive there at night then jump in a taxi or get a connecting train to Oxford Road Station.
Manchester Piccadilly is an excellent modern train station which is actually quite pleasurable to wait for a train in.
The reason I use Manchester train station is a) I commute through it towards the North West and have to change here and b) well there is no way I need to drive from Stoke on Trent to Manchester because it is only 40 mins on the train which is roughly the same amount of time as driving , and the location of this train station is that you walk down a road and you are taken into the heart of the shopping quarters, I love Manchester but that is another review.
The train station is large and pretty noisy so firstly take a breather in the main hall and check out the 2 huge electronically updated boards which flash up destinations alphabetically and tells you what platform to be on and at what time. Very easy to understand and saves you rushing around like a headless chicken. Within the main hall is of course the counters of which there are many so you should not have to wait long to get tickets, the customer service desk whichI used once and was great, really put my mind at ease the first time I came to this station. Help yourself to the plentiful free printed paper train timetables if needs be.
There is also loads of chairs if you need a brief respite within the main hall.
There are lots of platforms all of which are directly in front of the main hall, and travelators (coooool!!!) lead to to a couple of other platforms, occasionally my train to Leeds has left from these ones, they are quite cold and open, I think they are 14 and 15 but I may probably be wrong.
However it is easy to find the relevant platform number because everywhere is well sign posted.
Several cash machines are located just off the main hall. Of course the toilets are charged for, 20p so make sure you have a little bit of change, the toilets are large and bright and pleasant enough.
Foodwise, there is a Burger King, WH Smith and something else I cannot quite remember but either way there is choice if you need to grab a snack. But goodness me the WH Smiths is horrendously expensive, so much so I'd rather walk down the road into the city centre to grab something instead of paying their extortionate prices!! There are a couple of shops which do not really have much point unless you need to grab a gift quickly from the Accessorize or something, otherwise if there is time go out into Manchester, like I said a couple of minutes down one road.
Unfortunately I cannot comment on parking facilities as I have never used them.
In summary a nice modern station whichis pleasant to use.
Manchester's main train station has about 24 platforms, a tram service that runs to other areas of Greater Manchester, and a free bus service as well.
I suppose the thing that sets this station apart is the amount of shops it has under its roof. Sainsburys, Monsoon, Superdrug, Starbucks, Boots to name but a few. So you can find pretty much anything you need here to supplement a comfortable journey. Alongside these shops you will also gind a wide range of fast food restaurants and take away services should you wish tyo grab a quick bite before jumping on your train.
To help you find which train you want and which platform to go to, there is a large display of tv screens displaying in alphabetical order, the destination of various trains and from which platform they are going from. The display is updated minute by minute, even with up-to-date alterations, ie, cancellations or late arrivals.
There are quite a few of those fast service ticket machines, with some being well hidden, which are definitely worth knowing about if the main ones are busy.
Outside the station you'll find a fairly regular free bus service which will cart you around various Manchester town centre destinations, including the other train stations.
Another convenience is for those who are less mobile ie, have prams or use wheelchairs. Escalators and lifts are appropriately positioned all through the station giving access to every platform for easy consumption.
There's nothing really to complain about here. Maybe platforms 13 and 14 are a bit of a trek, especially if you're in a rush those several escalators, stairs and ticket checks can get quite frustrating.
This train station is the biggest one in Manchester and had a major revamp around the same time as the Commonwealth Games in 2002 so now looks quite modern inside with its glass surroundings and well equipped interior.
The station has 14 platforms, with platforms 13 and 14 accessed by a bit of a walk, or you can use the long travellator. It's best to allow an extra few minutes if you are travelling from one of these platforms.
The station runs regular services to Manchester Airport and Manchester Oxford Road Train Station, runs various local services and runs longer distance trains to locations including the South West and London, which now only takes just over 2 hours on the fast service.
If you ever need to get a rail replacement bus these leave from the front entrance of the station and there always seem to be plenty of staff outside to point you in the right direction if you are unsure.
The metrolink (tram) service is accessible down the escalators near to platform 9 and this can take you to places including Bury, Altrincham, Eccles and Salford Quays as well as Manchester City Centre and Manchester Victoria Train Station. Be aware that there are currently upgrades to the tracks taking place (2009) so the tram service is currently very disrupted in the city centre and towards Eccles although there are bus services replacing services that are not running.
Outside the front of the station there are 3 different free bus services linking the station with various areas of the city centre and the other Manchester train stations. These run every 10 or 15 minutes and are handy for those who cannot walk too far, or if it is tipping it down!
The taxi rank is accessed down the escalators near platform 9 and there is also a lift for those with buggys, wheelchairs etc. This is also where the short stay pick up area is located.
If you are walking into the city centre it is only 5 or 10 minutes walk straight down Piccadilly from the main entrance: this leads to Piccadilly Gardens and then the pedestrianised Market Street.
Information and Tickets
All platforms are clearly signposted and there are lots of reliable screens for you to find out which platform you need to go to including 2 huge departure boards in the main entrance area which list the trains according to every destination so it is easy to find your train even if you have no idea what its final destination will be.
There is an information window below the departure boards on the platform side which is usually manned by 2 people but sometimes there is a bit of queue for this at busy times and you may have to wait a few minutes.
There is a ticket office with seperate queues for 'todays travel' and 'advance travel', where you can also renew railcards etc, although both queues always seem to be very long during the main part of the day so it is best to use the Fast Ticket machines to buy your tickets if possible. Most of these are located next to the ticket office, with 2 additional machines located down the first set of escalators towards the taxi rank.
The station provides the standard announcements over the tannoy for train arrivals, platform changes etc and this is audible throughout the station.
There are no ticket barriers yet at Piccadilly although there are sometimes manual ticket checks in place, particularly for platforms 13 and 14.
Shops, Refreshments and other services
The station contains various shops including a small Sainsburys supermarket, a chemist, an Accessorize, Tie Rack, HMV, 3 WhSmiths, a Burger King, KFC, Pasty shop, Upper Crust, M&S Food, 2 pubs and 3 or 4 coffee shops and a few other food places that change hands now and then but have included a Bagel place and a Millies cookies shop.
Seating at these places is fairly limited (the odd table or two) with the exception of KFC and the large coffee shop which are both located upstairs and have large seating areas. Otherwise you will have to find a seat in the main part of the station but this is very difficult during the main part of the day, although there are a fair few seats located on each platform if you can stand the cold!
The toilets are located near to the escalators and you will have to pay a small charge to visit (currently 20p or 30p - can't remember which) but they are well maintained and modern so I prefer to use these than some of the disgusting ones you can visit for free at some other stations. There is a change machine outside if you have not got the correct money.
There are 4 or 5 cash machines in this area as well as another one down the escalators.
There is a left luggage service located on platform 9/10 that charges around 6 or 7 pound for 24 hours.
Overall this is a modern, clean and well equipped station.
Manchester Piccadilly is the main station in Manchester, the others being Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Salford Central and Deansgate.
It has 14 platforms and links to both trains travelling nationwide, and trams which run to various destinations in Greater Manchester.
I remember how Manchester Piccadilly used to look and it was quite grim. It didn't have many shops or food outlets, just a grimy old pub, a burger king , couple sarnie places and a cafe if I remember correctly.
It didnt reflect the greatness of Manchester which is a major UK city and needed a station to reflect that.
Then came the refurb and wow what a difference! It is glass fronted and has a glass roof which makes the whole station really bright and light. The ticket office is much improved and there are several fast ticket machines.
The shops include: Superdrug, Boots, Accessorize, Body Shop, Sainsburys, WH Smith, Threshers, Costa, M&S Food, Thorntons, Starbucks and Monsoon to name a few. There are also a couple of coffee / snack type places, a juice bar, and a wicked bagel place. Oh and not forgetting a couple of pubs!
Fast food wise, there is KFC, Burger King and of course, the cornish pasty place
It's well laid out, spacious and has ample seating. There are four cash machines on the main station.
Finally what would a UK station be without extortionate toilet charges eh? And Man Pic does not disappoint - yes its 20p for a wee - bargain!
Ahem! To summarise: One of the most modern stations in the UK, far nicer than London Euston. As stations go, its one of the better ones to wait in.
Manchester Piccadilly Station is in the centre of Manchester, and quite a big train station. It also has links with the trams and buses.
The station is modern and clean, it has toilet facilities but you need to pay for them (as if your train ticket doesnt cost enough!) - unless you just hop over or under the barriers like I do then its free!
There are a few shops in there, and food places as well, like KFC and Burger King, which do well while your waiting for a train, but the shops and other food outlets are expensive.
The train station is well signposted, and it's pretty easy to find the right platform. It has pay points as well where you can buy a ticket without joining the queue for a human.
Finding out when your train is, and what platform your train is on, is not the easiest thing to do! They have big boards with details, but because there are so many trains operating, and if you get off your train before its final destination, it can be pretty overwhelming, and you need help!!
As you may know from my reviews yesterday, I recently travelled by train to Manchester and therefore ended up departing at Manchester Piccadilly.
Although my ticket said 'Manchester Stations' which meant I could have chosen to stay on the train until Manchester Oxford Road station, I chose to leave at Piccadilly because it is my favourite of the Manchester stations by far. In fact it is my favourite train station out of all the ones I have travelled to countrywide.
It actually has better facilities than your average regional airport, and in recent years benefitted from a major redevelopment and modernisation project and this really shows!
It has two entrances, one on the level of the station (Piccadilly Approach)and one below. The Fairfield Street entrance (the one below ground level) serves the car park, taxi rank, and the Manchester Metrolink station.
Piccadilly Station has a fantastic central location, within a couple of minutes walk of 4* hotels and the main shopping district, which explains why it is the city's main station.
The main concourse contains ticket offices, information points, seating, public toilets, shops and places to eat and drink. There is also a mezanine level which houses more eateries and bars including KFC. The station has a wide range of places to eat and drink including Boost Juice and Smoothie Bar, KFC (I wish this was McDonalds instead!), Upper Crust, Burger King, Starbucks and Costa. Shops include Superdrug, Sainsburys, Thorntons, WH Smith and Tie Rack.
I have 4 main bugbears with the station, and they are not major by any stretch of the imagination.
1 - It is not all on one level, and to get to the taxi rank you need to go down 2 escalators which is annoying more than anything. A lift is available but I only use lifts if I have a big suitcase otherwise.
2 - Two platforms (13 and 14)are right away from the main concourse and involve quite a long walk, although there is a moving walkway if you aren't feeling energetic. I am only really annoyed by this because it is always my train that seems to be leaving from one of these platforms.
3 - While there are lample counter service eateries, there are not enough seats in the station for you to ever find one (especially as the majority of people sitting on the seats downstairs are waiting for trains rather than sitting down to have a snack). I think that the sandwich bars should offer their own seating. KFC does this upstairs which is a great idea and they do have a sizeable number of seats available. Sometimes Upper Crust put out one tiny table and chair but I don't think this is really sufficient.
4 - I think the choice of shops could be a bit better thought out though. Sainsburys is a little mini supermarket which is great for picking up bits and pieces but I have to admit I am a tad confused about its location in a train station. Accessorize and Tie Rack could be replaced by something with more universal appeal and there is a real need for a shop to buy kids' toys from I think, as I know lots of people like to take presents home after trips away and business trips normally mean no time to visit the main shopping centres. I also think either KFC or Burger King should be replaced by McDonalds as I like neither of them! But that's just me of course!
Overall though it is a real inspiration of a station - modern and well equipped where you can easily arrive early for your train and spend some time having a snack or browsing the shops. I wish all stations were this good!
The station at Manchester Piccadilly has stood since 1842 and, in recent years, has undergone a thorough refurbishment which has left it a much cleaner, brighter and safer place. Usually, it is my end destination but very occasionally I am just passing through. To this end, the station has been vastly improved with a wide selection of reasonably priced food outlets including;
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Marks and Spencers Food Outlet
The Pasty Shop
If food is not what you want or indeed need, there are several shops such as;
Boots (with a prescription facility)
Finally, if I have still not highlighted what you need, there are several bars and cafes to whet your appetite including;
The Sports Bar
The actual station is well run (well, as well as it can be in conjunction with public transport) with clear signposting and numerous security cameras to give the station a very safe feel without it feeling like a police state.
Overall, if you are stuck here for a while, it is one of the better stations for it to happen at as you will comfortably pass the time. Alternatively, if you wanted to break a journey, Manchester City Centre is a gentle ten minutes stroll down the road.