The £20m project would see an ETFE roofing canopy erected, similar to that used on the Eden Project. Up to £16m of the cost will be Network Rail funded with the balance coming from Transport for Greater Manchester.
The improvements are intended to future-proof the station allowing for the imminent electrification of the line to Liverpool and would also take into account big improvements planned under the Northern Hub upgrade proposals.
Plans to improve Victoria station further include new shops and cafes, better Metrolink facilities, and refurbishment and renewal of the Grade II listed station building.
These will go out to public consultation in the autumn before a listed building application is submitted to the city council in the winter.
If consent is granted early, construction would begin in summer 2013 with completion by winter 2014.
Graham Botham, programme sponsor at Network Rail said: “This is great news for passengers at Victoria.
“The numbers of people using the station could double by 2019, with faster, more frequent trains eventually to Leeds and Liverpool as part of the Northern Hub plans, so we need a station that reflects Manchester’s vibrant city centre.
He added: “Our plans see Victoria transformed by the end of 2014, acting as a further catalyst in an area where the Co-operative Group is regenerating 20 acres of land around the station.
“That’s why we have been working so closely with the city council and English Heritage to resolve any planning issues resulting from the station’s listed status.”
Network Rail plan for the region
Victoria station upgrade – £20m
The Northern Hub – Proposed £530m (£85m now funded)
The first £85m Ordsall Chord part of the Northern Hub project got the go ahead in the recent Budget. This new railway section will connect Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations as soon as 2016
The full Northern Hub improvements would mean four fast trains every hour between Liverpool and Manchester and six between Manchester and Leeds.
North West Electrification – £124m
The Manchester Victoria to Liverpool Lime Street route – known as the Chat Moss route – is in development. It is estimated to cost £124m with first ‘on the ground’ work starting later this month.
Plans for further electrification in the North West are being developed
Improved accessibility – £18m
Improvements to deliver step free access at stations including Cheadle Hulme, Liverpool Central, Manchester O/Road and Stalybridge
Additional station improvements – £9m
Improvements at stations in Bolton, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Victoria as part of the National Stations Improvement Programme