England’s 171-year old Manchester Victoria Station, once considered to be one of the worst stations in Britain, has reopened after a £44m upgrade.
The station was refurbished as part of the £1bn Northern Hub and North West Electrification Programme to boost rail capacity and connectivity across the country.
Network Rail CEO Mark Carne said: "Six years ago it was dubbed Britain’s worst station; today it must surely be among the country’s best.
"For far too long people travelling in and out of Manchester Victoria had to make do with a tired and dark station. The contrast today is remarkable.
"Manchester Victoria station is modern, clean and flooded with natural light; a station this great city so badly needs."
The redeveloped site includes a new 8,500m² roof that arcs over the station’s concourse. The remodelled tram stop has also been installed with four new platforms and an additional track.
The new 60m bridge linking the station with the adjoining arena offers new and modern retail space at the heart of the station.
Renovations have been made to the war memorials and historic wall that runs the length of the station façade.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I want to congratulate everyone involved in this remarkable project. It’s fantastic to see Manchester Victoria once again a station fit for the city.
"The north is receiving a wave of investment in its transport infrastructure on a scale not seen for generations, with £4.5bn in the north west alone.
"The benefits are already being delivered, with 71,000 more businesses in the north west than in 2010, a clear sign our long-term plan to secure a stronger, healthier economy is working."
The master design was coordinated by architecture firm BDP and the main contractor was Morgan Sindall.