Manchester Area


A simulation of railways in the Manchester area of the UK in 2024

Only registered users can download this free product.


The simulation includes Manchester’s main city stations and surrounding areas close to the city.

The timetable corresponds to the current winter working timetable including passenger and freight services, and empty coaching stock. It covers an eight hour shift from 06:00 until just after 14:00, and illustrates very clearly the capacity problems in Manchester, especially at Manchester Piccadilly – the traffic in and out of this station is relentless!

The simulation is best run at half speed for most of the time, with occasional brief periods of normal time and sometimes quarter time when traffic build-up is severe.

Specific platforms are advised in train descriptions for Piccadilly and Victoria, and these should be used unless there is a build-up of delays, when in some cases it might be preferable to use other platforms.

It pays to keep a sharp eye on arrival and departure times because some trains have plenty of excess time whereas others have little. Just because a train enters the railway before another it doesn’t always mean that the first to enter is the first to arrive at a station. Often the first can be held at a signal without it being delayed – the important thing is to keep to or before scheduled arrival times as far as possible.

This is a difficult simulation to operate, especially for traffic in and out of Piccadilly, but there is some useful advice provided in the operational notes.

Further development is very welcome, the github development site is at:

A brief history of Manchester’s railways is included for interest as the city has a very rich railway heritage.


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