The hustle of Piccadilly’s Station Approach in October 2011 is something which seems to typify modern life. Rubbing shoulders with the anonymous, holding your line in the face of the oncoming surge of Alan Sugar aspirants. The passenger railway station and all that surrounds it is the social hub for the plucky stranger. Yet for Manchester in particular, this setting is hardly one that has been recently established. As with football and music, Manchester is also a pioneering metropolis in the wildly enthralling world of the passenger railway.
In 1830, Manchester became home to the world’s first passenger railway station. Liverpool Road Station would live out most of its existence dealing with goods, as the Liverpool & Manchester railway had initially intended it to. However for fourteen years prior to the construction of Manchester Victoria Station, it would be the nucleus for an unprecedented surge in the popularity of rail travel.
For the middle and upper classes, a new world had now opened up. Passengers would be enthralled by travelling at the breakneck speed of 17 miles per hour. Initially Liverpool, but then Birmingham and London and their surrounding areas were soon brought into Mancunian’s grasp as Manchester too could also welcome in new visitors. It would be the Liverpool Road station, to the west of Manchester’s city centre, which would engineer this increase in mobility.
So when you’re are next heading out on Manchester, perhaps looking for somewhere to go on a first date, head to the Museum of Science and Industry, of which the Grade 1 listed station building is now a part. Not only are you guaranteed a blossoming start to a new relationship, but you will also have the warm satisfaction of being at the birthplace of global rail travel. Liverpool Road Station: a shrine to modern mobility and independent roaming.