Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look today.

Our main image this week captures a historic moment for Manchester Piccadilly station from September 1960.

Standing at the platform is one of the first British Rail Class 83 locomotives to run on the newly electrified West Coast Main Line between Birmingham and the North West.

The 1960s were a time of major activity for the station. Formerly known as London Road station, it was renamed Manchester Piccadilly on September 12th 1960.

The London Midland Region ploughed £1.75 million into the station’s redevelopment from 1958 to 1966, rebuilding almost everything apart from the imposing Victorian train sheds. But even these were shortened at the concourse end.

The former through platforms and bridges over Fairfield Street were rebuilt as a pre-stressed concrete slab bridge with cantilevered sides – and new platforms were added under the train sheds.

Manchester Piccadilly Station - Then Manchester Piccadilly Station - Now

A new entrance and concourse was constructed along with a ten-storey office block to house British Rail staff.

Manchester Piccadilly is now the fourth busiest station in the UK outside London, hosting services from six operating companies.

It is also the second busiest interchange station outside the capital as 3.8 million passengers change trains there every year.

Things have been much quieter at the station recently due to Covid 19 restrictions, as our modern image illustrates.

Only a few passengers are milling around the platforms waiting to board London trains as the station slowly returns to normal.

*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.

It’s on sale at £14.99 including postage and packing. Order your copy online at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.