Manchester Oxford Road is a strange place. The cramped inner-city location hemmed in by buildings on all sides makes it look like a full-sized model railway rather than a real station. Here a Trans-Pennine Express emerges from the fiddle yard between the two buildings that hide the hole in the sky
New to Manchester are the former Thameslink class 319s, now used on Liverpool to Manchester services. This is one of the liveries of the forthcoming Graham Farish model.
The other new train to be seen in the Manchester area is First Trans-Pennine’s electric class 350s used on the Manchester to Glasgow run. Unlike Northern’s former London hand-me-downs, this line gets brand-new trains.
A Northern class 150 sprinter enters from the Manchester Piccadilly direction. The platforms of the station are too short for inter-city length trains; back in the days when Virgin Trains operated between Manchester and Scotland their HSTs and Voyagers couldn’t stop because they were too loong for the model railway like platforms.
A lot of freight passes through Oxford Road, mostly intermodal trains cannying boxes of Made-on-China goods to the vast container terminal at Trafford Park. Her’s a modellable short train made up of two pairs on Freightliner container twins. I’m guessing these wagons are returning from maintenance; quite a few of these wagons were undergoing tyre turning at Longsight.
Oxford Road is an extremely busy station, especially for its size, and sees trains from four different train operating companies. Here’s a pair a venerable class 158 Sprinters on an East Midlands Trains’ Liverpool to Norwich working.
And finally, an Arriva Trains Wales class 175 on a working from North Wales. Sometimes known as “Hippos”, they’re hardly the most attractive-looking trains on the network, but in terms of passenge environment they’re one of the better modern units.