Deansgate railway station

Last updated
Deansgate National Rail logo.svg
Knott Mill Station - - 1447337.jpg
Place Manchester city centre
Local authority City of Manchester
Coordinates 53°28′27″N2°15′03″W / 53.4742°N 2.2508°W / 53.4742; -2.2508 Coordinates: 53°28′27″N2°15′03″W / 53.4742°N 2.2508°W / 53.4742; -2.2508
Grid reference SJ834975
Station codeDGT
Managed by Northern Trains
Number of platforms2
DfT category D
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase2.svg 0.373 million
2015/16Increase2.svg 0.390 million
2016/17Increase2.svg 0.421 million
2017/18Decrease2.svg 0.420 million
2018/19Increase2.svg 0.456 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Greater Manchester
Original company Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway
Pre-groupingManchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway
Post-groupingManchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
20 July 1849 (1849-07-20)Opened as Knot Mill and Deansgate
?Renamed Knott Mill and Deansgate
3 May 1971Renamed Deansgate
National RailUK railway stations
  • Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Deansgate from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Deansgate is a railway station in Manchester city centre, England, 1,100 yards (1 km) west of Manchester Piccadilly, close to Castlefield at the junction of Deansgate and Whitworth Street West. It is part of the Manchester station group.


It is linked to Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop and the Manchester Central Convention Complex by a footbridge built in 1985; Deansgate Locks, The Great Northern Warehouse and the Museum of Science and Industry are also nearby.

The platforms are elevated, reached by lift or stairs, or by the walkway from the Manchester Central Complex. The ticket office, staffed full-time, is between street and platform levels. There are no ticket barriers, although manual ticket checks take place on a daily basis.

It is on the Manchester to Preston and the Liverpool to Manchester lines, both heavily used by commuters. Most tickets purchased by passengers to Deansgate are issued to Manchester Stations or Manchester Central Zone, therefore actual usage is not reflected in these statistics, due to the difficulty in splitting the ticket sales correctly between the four grouped stations (Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate).


The original station buildings were situated on Hewitt Street. [1] The station was opened as Knot Mill and Deansgate on 20 July 1849 by the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway [2] (MSJAR) near the Manchester terminus ('the Knot Mill station' [3] ) of the Bridgewater Canal from which in 1849 travellers could catch a fast packet which could get them to Liverpool in four and a half hours for as little as sixpence. [4] [5] (The fare was anomalously low because of a temporary outbreak of competition between the canal and the London and North Western Railway (L&NWR); [6] it was back up to sixteen pence by 1853). [7]

When a celebratory train ran over the line at the start of July 1849, a reporter for the Manchester Courier noted that most stations had permanent buildings and "at Knott Mill and Oxford-street temporary stations will in the meantime be erected". [8] When the line opened for passenger traffic a fortnight later, the Courier duly noted that the station at Knott Mill had opened with temporary wooden buildings. [9] The booking office was at street level; from it "narrow, steep, troublesome steps, enough to tire anyone but athletes" [10] led to the platforms. The station proved - according to its critics -to be "inconvenient of approach, ugly in appearance, and with platform, booking office, and waiting-room accommodation much cramped" [11] but accessibility was the biggest issue: for the aged, the invalid or children it was "a most difficult not to say dangerous task to climb the steep flights of steps to the platforms." [11]

(The area was also the site of the annual Easter-tide [12] Knott Mill Fair, [13] a decades-old event, which (until its abolition in 1876) [12] hosted acts such as Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal and George Wombwell's Menagerie. [14] [15] In 1860, special trains laid on in connection with the fair by both the L&NWR and the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR), the joint owners of the MSJAR were not advertised as running to Knott Mill station; the LNWR excursion ran to Ordsall Lane, [16] the MS&L excursion to London Road (now Piccadilly station). [17] )

If the station was originally named "Knot Mill and Deansgate" by the MSJAR, from its opening onwards it was simply 'Knott Mill' (or 'Knot Mill') to the Manchester papers [9] and by 1860 the railway was following suit in its advertisements. [18] [19] In 1864, the MS&LR gave the required notice of a bill to be brought forward in the next session of Parliament for widening part of the MSJAR "from or near Knott Mill Station to Old Trafford Station"; [20] however in the same year the accident return for an accident at Old Trafford noted that the train involved had stopped at "Knot Mill, and left that station..." [21]

Following the widening and improvement of the southern portion of Deansgate, in 1880 a correspondent to the Manchester Courier suggested that the station be renamed Deansgate "Very few lady passengers who have shopping to do in Deansgate make use of the Knot Mill Station. If they are aware of its nearness, perhaps they are waiting for the station and its approaches to be improved" [22] A public meeting in October 1884 complained that Knott Mill station was altogether inadequate for the newly improved district; the MSJAR was therefore in breach of its Act of Parliament which required it to provide sufficient station accommodation: the Improvement Committee of Manchester Corporation was called upon to exert pressure on the MSJAR. [23] A deputation from the Improvement Committee duly met directors of the railway to urge them to improve the "dingy" and "long-neglected" station. [24] Improvement plans were drawn up but an impasse was reached; the MSJAR's joint owners (the L&NWR and the MS&LR) disagreed on how much they should spend on improvement [25] and Manchester Corporation were unhappy with any narrowing of adjacent streets to accommodate an enlarged station. [26] Not until 1892 was a plan devised that was acceptable to all of the interested parties. [27] Negotiations to purchase the required land were protracted, with Manchester Corporation eventually offering to exercise its powers of compulsory purchase to assist the railway, but the work finally went out for tender in January 1895. [28] Work started in March 1895 (by June 1895 a temporary entrance from Gaythorn Street had to be used and the previous entrance from Deansgate closed); [29] it was completed in September 1896; [30] the latter year appears (in a shield) as part of the decorative stonework over the entrance. The station name is given there as simply "Knott Mill Station". The station is now a Grade II listed building. [31] Its battlemented architectural feature, visible at its corner, is intended to mirror similar features in the nearby viaducts, all of which in turn incorporated the design in recognition of the Roman fort that once stood in the Castlefield area. [1]

The station became Knott Mill and Deansgate [2] (for railway purposes: to the local press it remained Knott Mill station) around 1900 and Deansgate on 3 May 1971. [32] Today it is sometimes known as Manchester Deansgate, and on many station information boards it is Deansgate G-Mex.

(The station name Deansgate was formerly used for the Great Northern Railway goods station [33] serving the Great Northern Warehouse next to Manchester Central railway station. This is now a Grade II* listed (as Deansgate Goods Station) building. [34] )


Platform 2 in 2011. Deansgate Station 2011.jpg
Platform 2 in 2011.
Station concourse Deansgate Concourse.jpg
Station concourse
Entrance from Whitworth St. West Deansgate Whitworth St. West.jpg
Entrance from Whitworth St. West

There are regular trains eastbound to Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport. A number of through trains continue to/from Buxton and a number of trains which start or end here operate through to/from Stoke-on-Trent or Macclesfield.

First TransPennine Express used to run the service from Manchester Airport to Blackpool North but this was passed on to Arriva Rail North on 1 April 2016.

Westbound there are regular trains to Liverpool Lime Street, Southport and Blackpool North.

See also


  1. 1 2 Parkinson-Bailey, John J. (2000). Manchester: An Architectural History. Manchester University Press. p. 55. ISBN   978-0-71905-606-2.
  2. 1 2 Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 137. ISBN   1-85260-508-1. R508.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  3. (advert.)"Bridgewater Canal Packets". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 7 December 1844. p. 1.
  4. "Cheap Trips to the Manufacturing Districts". Liverpool Mail. 6 October 1849. p. 5.
  5. (advert.) "Cheap Travelling between Manchester and Liverpool". Bradford Observer. 27 September 1849. p. 1.
  6. Howarth, W J (18 November 1892). "Answers and Comments: Travelling between Manchester and Liverpool". Manchester Times. p. 5.
  7. (advert.) "Bridgewater Canal Tide Packets". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 23 April 1853. p. 1.
  8. "Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway - Contractors' Excursion". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 7 July 1849. p. 9.
  9. 1 2 "Opening of the Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 21 July 1849. p. 7.
  10. "The Jubilee of the Bowdon Railway". Manchester Times. 5 May 1899. p. 5.
  11. 1 2 "Railway Improvements in Manchester". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 6 May 1893. p. 7.
  12. 1 2 (advert.) "Manchester Fairs". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 12 August 1876. p. 1.
  13. "Knott Mill Fair". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 26 April 1848. p. 6. which noted the absence of Wombwell's
  14. Gretchen Holrook Gerzina, Editor, "Black Victorians-Black Victoriana" (Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick, NJ, 2003)
  15. The Manchester Guardian (11 April 1850). "Knott Mill Fair, Manchester, 1850". The Fairground Heritage Trust. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  16. (advert.) "London and North-Western Railway - Knott Mill Fair". Bolton Chronicle. 7 April 1860. p. 1.
  17. (advert.) "Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway - Cheap Pleasure Trip from Sheffield to Manchester - Manchester Knott Mill Fair will be held in Easter week". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 27 March 1860. p. 1.
  18. (advert.) "Manchester South Junction and Altrincham and Cheshire Midland Railways - Illumination of Salt Mines at Northwich". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 20 May 1864. p. 1.
  19. (advert.)"Manchester, South Junction, and Altrincham Railway". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 12 May 1860. p. 1.
  20. "In Parliament - Session 1865: Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway: (Widening of Part of Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway, &c,)". Morning Post. 28 November 1864. p. 7 (columns 4–5).
  21. Tyler, H W. "Accident at Old Trafford on 6th August 1864". Railways Archive : Accident Archive. (originally Board of Trade accident return). Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  22. Lever, Ellis (3 July 1880). "Manchester and Salford One City". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. p. 10.
  23. "The Accommodation at Knott Mill Railway Station". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 10 October 1884. p. 7.
  24. "The Municipal Elections: Manchester: St John's Ward". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 29 October 1884. p. 8.
  25. "Railway Communication with North Wales". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 25 May 1889. p. 8.
  26. as noted (for example) in "Proposed New Railway Station at Knott Mill". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 2 January 1892. p. 7.
  27. "Manchester City Council". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 28 May 1892. p. 9.
  28. (advert.) "Contracts - To Builders and Contractors". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 21 January 1895. p. 1.
  29. (advert.) "Manchester, South Junction, and Altrincham Railway - Knott Mill Station Alterations". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 17 June 1895. p. 1.
  30. "Knott Mill Station". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 19 September 1896. p. 18.
  31. "Whitworth Street West - Deansgate Railway Station. Grade II. 20.8.98" "Listed buildings in Manchester by street (W)". Manchester City Council: A-Z of Listed Buildings in Manchester. Manchester City Council. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  32. Butt 1995 , pp. 137, 77
  33. "Railway Enterprise in Manchester: The Great Northern Company's Goods Station". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 1 July 1898. p. 8.
  34. "Watson Street - Deansgate Goods Station. Grade II*. 4.5.79. (Upgraded 2.4.96.)" "Listed buildings in Manchester by street (W)". Manchester City Council: A-Z of Listed Buildings in Manchester. Manchester City Council. Retrieved 6 December 2017.

Further reading

Preceding station National Rail logo.svg National Rail Following station
Trafford Park
Urmston on Sundays
  Northern Trains
Liverpool to Manchester Line
  Manchester Oxford Road
Salford Crescent   Northern Trains
Manchester to Preston Line
  Manchester Oxford Road
Salford Crescent   Northern Trains
Buxton Line
  Manchester Oxford Road
Salford Crescent   Northern Trains
Mid-Cheshire Line or
Manchester-Southport Line
  Manchester Oxford Road
Terminus  Northern Trains
Stafford-Manchester Line
  Manchester Oxford Road
Disused railways
Line and station closed
  Manchester, South Junction
and Altrincham Railway
  Manchester Oxford Road
Line and station open
Old Trafford
1849–56, 1865–1991
Line closed, station open

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