15 Apr 2012
last update by
29 May 2012
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The location is a multi-storey car park alongside the viaduct leading from Manchester Piccadilly to Oxford Road stations.
Railway type and traffic
About 95% of the trains using the line are now DMU classes, though this will change in a few years when the wires go up on the Liverpool line. All classes that run into Piccadilly can be viewed except classes 220,221 and 170. Very rarely a class 153 or 155 may turn up but it is very unusual. The only EMUs to use the line at present are class 323. Virgin Pendillinos do not venture here unless on a WCML diverted drag operation. Loco hauled workings are mainly Freightliner class 66s and the occasional class 70s. The freight originates at Trafford Park Freightliner terminal mainly.
Link to Real Time Trains
RTT Link Sackville Viaduct, Manchester Oxford Road This link should be close to the location, but may not be the actual location so please check the page. This link will take you to what is happening 'around now'. Dates and times can be changed at the top of the page.
The location is very inner-city, but is very photogenic with the mix of amazing new building and the old Refuge Insurance building in the background. It is also easy to reach by train, approximate 10 minutes walk from Oxford Rd and 15minutes from Piccadilly. However anyone coming from Victoria station would be advised to take the Metrolink to Piccadilly station, as it is a long walk from Victoria station.
From the A57(M) Come off at the junction for the A34 (Signed to Wilmslow Universities) but keep right on the slip road and follow the sign for the 'University of Manchester' right. Just after the 'Weston Hall' but before the 'Retro Bar' is the turning into Charles Street. You will see the railway on the arched viaduct ahead of you. Turn into Charles Street and park in the car park.
As it is a multi-storey car park this is not a problem, however I would strongly advise against on street parking in the area as the traffic wardens are like vultures. It is a very safe carpark to use, with many years of trouble free use. Cost of parking (April 2012) at the multi-storey are:
Mon-Fri 24 hours
£3.00 / 3 hours
£5.00 / 6 hours
£8.00 / 10 hours
£10.00 / day
£2.00 / evening
Sat-Sun - £2 per day.
The car park lies just off Oxford Street so buses from Piccadilly Gardens are very frequent sometimes, get off just before the railway bridge, after the bus turns left from Whitworth Street (the Palace theatre is on your right at the last set of traffic light as the bus turns lwft). From Oxford Road station it is 10mins easy walk, see below for directions.
There is a small newsagents on Sackville Street, on the Picadilly side of the car park. The nearest cafe/toilets are across the road at the IBIS hotel on Charles Street, otherwise there are numerous cafes, bars and the newly built Holiday inn hotel within easy walking distance. The car park is usually unmanned, but if staff are on the barriers, ask first if it is OK to go to the top deck, they are OK with photographers using the car park providing they do not leave litter etc. behind or do anything daft!
There are loads of choices for accommodation in Manchester, but the nearest is the IBIS, followed by the Holiday Inn (Oxford Street) and the Palace (formally the Refuge Insurance building), if you can try and get a room overlooking the railway from these 3 hotels.
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin: It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Sackville Viaduct, Manchester Oxford Road
The best time for photography is from aprox 07:00 in the summer, or 09:00 in the winter, until around lunchtime, when the sun is behind you, and some wonderful shots can be had looking towards Oxford Road station. The view back to Piccadilly is spoilt by metal railings on the viaduct, also the sun is usually not ideal for photos looking towards Piccadilly.
The car park is owned by the university and there is a gatehouse/security hut on the other side of Sackville Street. It would be advisable/worth while to check in with security staff and let them know what you are up to.
The information on these pages is supplied for the benefit of railway enthusiasts who carry out a harmless hobby, and through the medium of photography and video, actually promote the railway industry. Railway enthusiasts can also act as eyes and ears against railway vandalism, and as such should surely be encouraged to do so by the supply of adequate information such as is found on this website.
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