Ashburys railway station

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Ashburys National Rail
Ashburys Railway Station.jpg
Ashburys railway station in Manchester. The train shown is a Northern Rail Class 323 in First North Western livery.
Local authorityManchester
Grid referenceSJ871972
Station codeABY
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 91,330
2014/15Increase 91,502
2015/16Decrease 87,136
2016/17Increase 98,472
2017/18Decrease 90,950
July 1855Station opens as Ashburys
November 1855Station renamed Ashburys for Openshaw
August 1856Station renamed Ashburys for Belle Vue
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Ashburys from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK railways portal

Ashburys railway station in Openshaw, Manchester, England, is on the Manchester-Glossop Line at its junction with the branch line to Romiley and New Mills Central, and the freight-only line to Phillips Park Junction on the Huddersfield Line. It is the nearest railway station to the City of Manchester Stadium (also known as the Etihad Stadium).


It was built and opened by the Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway on its line from Manchester Store Street station to Sheffield, in 1855. First appearing in Bradshaw's in July, in November it was referred to as "Ashburys for Openshaw", then in August 1856, as "Ashburys for Belle Vue".

It became part of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway during mergers in 1847. That line changed its name to the Great Central Railway in 1897. Joining the London, Midland and Scottish Railway during the Grouping of 1923, the station passed on to the London Midland Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.

When Sectorisation was introduced in the 1980s, the station was served by Regional Railways under arrangement with the Greater Manchester PTE until the Privatisation of British Railways. The main station buildings, subway and a third platform face survived until the end of the 1980s, but all have since been removed.[1][2]

Station name[edit]

There is no actual place of this name near this station. It was named after the Ashbury Railway Carriage and Iron Company Ltd which built it for £175 in 1855. This company flourished from 1841 until 1902 when it moved to Saltley in Birmingham, merging with the Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd. Examples of its rolling stock survive to this day on preserved railways all over the world.


The station is unstaffed and has no permanent buildings (other than standard waiting shelters) or ticket provision, so all tickets must be bought on the train or prior to travel. Train running information is provided by digital display screens and timetable posters. No step-free access is available, as the station is above street level and the only access offered is via staircase and footbridge.[3] This is the nearest station to Manchester City's stadium Etihad Stadium as it is a 15-20 minute walk.


Today, Ashburys is a station with two platforms served by EMU half-hourly trains between Manchester Piccadilly and Hadfield and DMU hourly trains between Piccadilly and New Mills Central.[4] TransPennine Express services frequently pass through the station without stopping. The station is operated by Northern.

Electrification and Signalling[edit]

The line was electrified at 25 kV AC on 10 December 1984, replacing the 1500 V DC electrification inaugurated on 14 June 1954 by British Railways as part of the Manchester-Sheffield-Wath scheme via the Woodhead tunnel.[5] There was also a signal box here, which controlled the junctions and various sidings. The signal box, opened in 1906 by the Great Central Railway, closed in 2011, when control was transferred to the Manchester East signalling control centre.[6][7] The new WCML North Rail Operating Centre is located a short distance east of the station, next to the line to Guide Bridge. This opened in 2014 (one of 11 such centres either built or being planned in the UK) and will eventually control signalling across most of the routes across the North West England, including the northern end of the West Coast Main Line and the entire Manchester area network.[8]


Under the Greater Manchester TIF programme, Ashburys would have received improvements. However, despite TIF not going ahead, it is still to receive safety, security and passenger information improvements, when funding can be obtained.

Other long term proposals include the Manchester - Marple Tram Train scheme, which was on a 'reserve list' of TIF schemes. Significant new infrastructure works would be required between Piccadilly and Ashburys station, known as 'Piccadilly Link'. It would be incorporated within a major mixed-use development by Grangefield Estates, known as 'Chancellor Place', around the former Mayfield Station site.


  1. ^ Ashburys railway station 1989 Whately Peter; Retrieved 7 February 2017
  2. ^ Ashburys station 2009 Thompson, Nigel
  3. ^ Ashburys station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 7 February 2017
  4. ^ GB eNRT, December 2016-May 2017 Edition, Tables 78 & 79
  5. ^ Gillham, J.C., The Age of the Electric Train- Electric Trains in Britain since 1883. Shepperton: Ian Allan, 1988, p. 109.
  6. ^ Kay, P. Signalling Atlas and Signal Box Directory. Wallasey: Signalling Record Society, 2010, p.15.
  7. ^ Modern Railways, December 2011, p.86.
  8. ^ "Network Rail reveals record investment in the railway in the West Midlands and North West" Network Rail press release 12 June 2014; Retrieved 1 April 2016


  • Radford, B., (1988) Midland Though The Peak Unicorn Books
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.
  • Station on navigable O. S. map
  • [1][permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Manchester-Glossop Line

Coordinates: 53°28′18.5″N 2°11′42″W / 53.471806°N 2.19500°W / 53.471806; -2.19500