Glasgow to Manchester by train

How to travel from Glasgow to Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations in Manchester

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Routes

From Glasgow Central to Manchester Piccadilly

Travel Information

Final Destination: Manchester Airport

All trains also call at: Penrith - North Lakes and/or Oxenholme - The Lake District and Preston.

On the usual timetable

These direct trains to Manchester depart from Glasgow in the odd hours
In even hours from 06:00 until 16:00 it's possible to make the journey by taking a train heading to London via Brirmingham, or the daily train to Liverpool and making a connection at Preston into a train on to Manchester

Monday to Saturday = 7 x trains per day
Sunday = 6 x trains

Tickets

Book Early and Save: Yes

Online Bookings Usually Open: from up to 24 weeks ahead of the travel date (usually) as TransPennnine Express (TPE) places its ticket on sale sooner than other UK train operating companies.

Saving money:

If you want to travel at the cheapest possible price, look for the 'Advance tickets', though the four key things worth knowing about booking and using 'Advance' tickets in usual circumstances on this route are:
(1 They may not be placed on sale more than 12 weeks ahead
(2) The ticket(s) will be valid for the specific departure you select when making a booking.
(3) The ticket(s) cannot either be refunded, if you subsequently change your plans or miss the train due to any circumstances not attributable to the train operator.
(4) They can be exchanged to another departure on this route prior to the departure you have booked, but the price difference with the new ticket (the price will likely have risen since your original booking will need to be paid.

TPE offers a group deal for when groups of 3 - 9 adults are travelling together and Advance tickets are booked online - make sure you see the 'G' symbol which indicates that the discount has been applied.
You can save 33% of the total costs of the tickets and no Railcard is required.

Reservations:

All types of ticket booked at least 15 minutes ahead of travel for TPE trains have complimentary seat reservation.

If you book and Advance ticket(s) you have to travel on the train shown on the reservation, which will be the specific departure you selected when making a booking.
Though on boarding, you won't have to occupy the seat(s) you have been assigned for your ticket to be valid.

If you book Anytime or Off-Peak tickets you will be provided with a reservation(s) on the departure you selected when making a booking, but are able to transfer the reservation to any other valid departure on your travel date.
You can do this by contacting the TPE social media team, or at a station ticket desk.

What is unusual about travelling with TPE is that these reservations can be arranged up to around 15 minutes prior to departure, which is a much shorter time limit than the norm.

Travelling on Saturday-Sunday

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date, but maintenance work on the route is periodically undertaken at weekends and if it is scheduled on your travel date, it can affect when tickets will be released for sale.

If you're looking up a journey less than 12 weeks ahead and Advance tickets aren't available, it can be a good indication that works will be impacting on your travel date.
It can be worth checking this on the National Rail website - enter TransPennine Express as the operator.

Booking at the station

As TPE doesn't take Advance tickets off sale until 15 mins prior to departure, if you will be booking walk-up tickets at the station try to avoid booking at the last minute.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
TPE *

TPE Guide

TPE offers three unconventional means of booking and using tickets for travel by the trains it operates:

  • Advance tickets can be booked online up to 15 mins before departure
  • Seats are assigned on TPE trains when booking up to an hour prior to departure
  • There is no charge for transferring Advance tickets to an alternative departure, on the route originally booked.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesMountain views

Good to Know

Arriving in Manchester

If you'll be happy to walk into the city centre, leave these trains at Oxford Road station.

It's the first station in the city that these trains will call at and exiting Oxford Road station will take under a minute; these trains will arrive on a platform (track) which is adjacent to the main station building.

In contrast, at Piccadilly station, these trains use a part of the station which is at the opposite end of the building to its main exit.
So when walking to the city centre, alighting at Oxford Road can save time and it is more straightforward.

Though if you will be taking a tram on to a destination outside the city centre; the tram routes from Piccadilly station go to Etihad Campus and Media City.
Though Oxford Road station is not served by trams.

Tickets marked with Oxford Road as a destination will be valid to Piccadilly station.

Heading south from Carstairs Heading south from Carstairs
Approaching the Scottish Uplands Approaching the Scottish Uplands
Passing through the Scottish Uplands Passing through the Scottish Uplands
Between Lockerbie and Carlisle Between Lockerbie and Carlisle
Travelling towards Penrith from Carlisle Travelling towards Penrith from Carlisle
Looking from the right towards the Lake District in the distance Looking from the right towards the Lake District in the distance
Through the Lune Gorge between Penrith and Oxenholme Through the Lune Gorge between Penrith and Oxenholme
Approaching Oxenholme station on the left look out for Low Gill viaduct Approaching Oxenholme station on the left look out for Low Gill viaduct
South of Oxenholme heading towards Carnforth South of Oxenholme heading towards Carnforth
Look out on the right for the glimpse of Morecambe Bay Look out on the right for the glimpse of Morecambe Bay

For the majority of this journey the train will travel through a majestic landscape.

South of Carstairs the railway follows a route through the beautiful Southern Uplands.

Before the train has passed through Lockerbie station, the views as the railway climbs and then descends over Beattock summit, are particularly special.

Between Carlisle and Lancaster the railway takes a route between The Lake District to the west and the Pennines to the east, so there are great views to be enjoyed from both sides of the train towards distant mountains.

Approximately 10 minutes north of Oxenholme comes one of the highlights of the journey when the railway travels through the Lune Gorge - though here the best views are from the left (when facing the direction of travel).

(The video was filmed from a train travelling in the opposite direction).

A beautiful landmark to look out for on the left, just after the train enters the gorge, is the spectacular sight of Low Gill Viaduct, on a now abandoned railway.
Around five minutes north of Lancaster, the West Coast Main Line, briefly lives up to its name with a fleeting glimpse of Morecambe Bay, the only sea view on the journey.

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