Manchester Central Station (G-MEX) roof
Windmill Street, Manchester
Sir John Fowler
1877 - 1st July 1880
ICE reference number
photo Paul Dunkerley
With a span of 210ft, this is the second largest railway station roof span in the country, the roof of St. Pancras Station in London having the widest.
The former Manchester Central Station is now used as an exhibition centre and has been renamed G-Mex.
Its impressive roof was designed by Sir John Fowler and built by Andrew Handyside of Derby. The station was opened by the Cheshire Lines Committee on 1st July 1880, replacing an 1877 temporary station building.
The contract drawings were signed not only by Andrew Handyside as contractor but also by Charles Sacré, A. Johnston and Richard Johnson on behalf of the railway companies.
The roof spans 210ft and is carried by 16 arched 15in-deep Warren girders, which rise 90ft above rail level, carrying a Paxton roof. The roof was re-clad in 1951. The length of the roof is 548ft, with awnings over the outer ends of the former platforms.
Rail services ceased in 1969, and the structure was then used as a covered car park for several years.
Contractor: Andrew Handyside