It’s the one you miss. Salford Central Station is on New Bailey Street and is set back between two railway viaducts.
So travelling out of Manchester into Salford even on foot it was not the most visible of places.
Moreover the actual entrance seemed to retreat away from the road and so apart from the station’s name on the wooden canopy there was really only the sign above the entrance announcing the way “To the ticket office” and the railway timetables which gave a clue as to what was behind the maroon door.
But all that has changed. The viaducts have been painted and the detail highlighted, as have the pillars and the entrance is now behind a glass wall which draws you into the station itself.
It is one of our oldest stations having been opened in 1838 as the terminus of the Manchester and Bolton Railway and in 1843 the viaduct across New Bailey Street were built to connect with Victoria Station. Only the Liverpool Road Station is older, but that closed for passengers in 1844 when Manchester Victoria was built.
Of course the purist will point to the fact that I am mixing up Manchester and Salford and treating them as one but I rather think that is being a wee bit pedantic.
The station has had many names. For the first twenty years it was just plain Salford, was then renamed Salford (New Bailey) until 1865 when it reverted to its original name and in 1988 it was changed to Salford Central.
I suppose the fact that for a long time it was only open at peak times and is closed on Sundays does continue to make it a bit of a forgotten station. So to bring it back I thought I would include the 1894 painting of the station by H. E. Tidmarsh from Manchester Old and New.
Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson and Manchester Old and New, William Arthur Shaw