The Museum of Science and Industry occupies a remarkable site. History was made here when the world's first inter-city railway opened, on 15 September 1830. Our unique buildings were part of a revolutionary railway station, and for over 140 years, they were the scene of non-stop activity, as people and goods travelled in and out, around the clock.
Liverpool Road Station is the Manchester terminus of the record-breaking Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Built by ambitious businessmen to link the factories of Manchester with the docks at Liverpool, the railway was an instant success. As the profits poured in, the pioneering project was copied all over the world. Soon, a vast network of iron rails covered the country triggering a transformation of technology and trade.
Built in 1830, this is the oldest passenger station in the world. In its working life, it was a scene of constant activity, as up to 2,500 travellers poured through the doors every day. The railway meant that people could travel faster than ever before, at less than half the price of a stagecoach. The busy service soon outgrew this building and in 1844, the passenger trains were rerouted to the grand new Victoria station.
Station Building images
Built in less than five months in 1830, this is the world's first railway warehouse. Full to the rafters with barrels and bales, this building stored everything from coal and cotton to oysters and oranges. Liverpool Road was a busy freight station, with cargo coming into the city from all over the world. The last delivery was made to the site in 1975, when British Rail shut down operations for good.
1830 Warehouse images
Originally a 'shipping shed', our Power Hall was once one of the busiest buildings at the station. As fresh food arrived from across the country, it had to be shipped out to market as quickly as possible. Hundreds of horse-drawn carts clattered up Liverpool Road to take delivery of the precious produce that would feed the city. Constructed in about in 1855, this building replaced an 1831 transit shed that was too small to cope with the volume of traffic.
Power Hall images
Great Western Warehouse
Construction of the Great Western Warehouse started in about 1880. It was part of the ongoing expansion and development of the station that included the addition of a second viaduct. This warehouse had a sophisticated design, with tracks running into the building to allow goods to be loaded and unloaded under cover.
Great Western Warehouse images
Air and Space Hall
This amazing structure opened in 1882 as the Lower Campfield Market. Originally an open-sided building, it housed a twice-weekly market. Although it was not part of the Liverpool Road Station, it benefited from the rapid delivery of fresh goods that the railway offered. It closed in 1900 to be transformed into the City Hall, playing host to exhibitions and events of all kinds.