Manchester rail stations
Click the index or marker pins to show full details of each location.
Manchester Piccadilly is the city’s principal rail station, hub of the Greater Manchester rail network, and terminus for most arrivals from elsewhere in the UK. It is located on the eastern edge of the city centre (downtown area). Hotels within easy walking distance include the Manchester Macdonald and the Ibis Charles Street. Piccadilly has its own Metrolink station, and is a short walk from the main bus station at Piccadilly Gardens and the coach terminal at Chorlton Street.
A frequent bus service runs directly between the station and the main Congress site at University Place (not late evenings or weekends). Walking from Piccadilly to University Place takes around 15 to 20 minutes: see this map for routes.
Manchester Oxford Road is a busy, medium-sized station, slightly more central than Piccadilly. All eastbound trains from Oxford Road also stop at Piccadilly: the two stations are connected by a long stretch of viaduct offering an interesting roof-level view of the city. Oxford Road is the closest station to the Congress venue, which is a straightforward 10-minute walk or a short bus journey down Oxford Road itself. It is also the closest station to Manchester Town Hall and Central Library. Hotels within easy walking distance include the Palace and Jury’s Inn. There are frequent and regular direct services to Liverpool and other towns to the west and north. There are also direct trains to Manchester Airport (via Piccadilly) and some eastbound destinations, although it’s more usually necessary to change at Piccadilly. If your ticket is marked “Manchester Stations” or “Manchester Central Zone”, it’s valid for transfer between Oxford Road and Piccadilly at no extra charge.
Manchester Deansgate also stands on the viaduct running across the city from Piccadilly, to the west of Oxford Road. It is smaller and less well served, although it does have a limited direct service from Manchester Airport. Hotels within easy walking distance include the Jurys Inn. A footbridge connects the station to Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station and the entrance to Castlefield Urban Heritage Park.
Manchester Victoria is the city’s second-largest station, but has lost prominence with the transfer of most long-distance traffic to Piccadilly. It’s now mainly a terminus for various local and medium-range routes, serving northern Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire. The oldest passenger station still in use, its fabric contains far more interesting nineteenth- and twentieth-century survivals than the heavily renovated Piccadilly, but is in a visibly poor state of repair. Victoria is the closest station to the medieval core including the Cathedral and Chetham’s Library, and to the main retail area. It has its own Metrolink station.
Salford Central serves parts of both Salford and Manchester, being close to one of the bridges over the River Irwell connecting the two cities; but is unlikely to be useful to Congress visitors.
Salford Crescent serves the main campus of the University of Salford, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, and the Working Class Movement Library. Unlike Salford Central, it is on a direct line from Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road.
See also this map of all local rail services (pdf).