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Step into the world's oldest surviving passenger railway station and discover how it changed both Manchester and the world.

Join us as we retell the life-changing, record-breaking story of the 1830 Station, from the improbable development and completion of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, to the thrill and terror of experiencing this new form of transportation for the first time, to how the railways revolutionised time.

Spread across several of the original rooms of the Grade I listed building, the gallery allows visitors to soak up the atmosphere of the old Liverpool Road Station, and to imagine how delightful and strange the sensation of being one of the first railway passengers would have been.

Through new interpretation and newly displayed collection objects, we hope to tell the story of not just a transport revolution, but of a seismic shift in world civilisation.

exploring the gallery

Magnifying glass


Look out for the magnifying glass icon and try the fun games as you explore the gallery. Spot the difference between old and new stations, pick your favourite picture, and play a game of Fact or Fiction to see how much your friends and family have found out about railways.

The Liverpool Road sundial

This sundial, on display in the 1830 Station, is an iconic object in our collection, because not only was it part of the world's first-ever passenger railway station, but it also tells a story about how the advent of the steam train fundamentally changed the way we thought about time.

Before your visit, you can find out more about this historic item with our 3D model below.

This is a small selection of objects on display in the 1830 Station. You can browse our online collection for more items housed in the gallery.