Manchester Mayfield railway station – The filming location of Prime Suspect and The Last Train

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Public transportation such as the railway is always an important part of the lives of millions of people across the globe. It is a critical vein in the city’s “bloodstream” diligently offering its services 24/7.

And when one such vein gets cut off, the city inevitably gets sick, but gets better eventually, for time heals all wounds. One such instance is the Manchester Mayfield railway station.

Manchester Mayfield Station. Author: Pit-yacker CC BY-SA 2.5

It once stood south of Fairfield Street in close proximity to Manchester Piccadilly Station. It was officially made accessible to the public in 1910 as a station that spread across four platforms. This station was built by London and North Western Railway close by to Piccadilly Station to help with the increased number of passengers, especially after Styal Line got opened in 1909.

The abandoned train tracks. Author: philld CC BY-SA 2.0

The initial idea of the London and North Western Railway was to build only a new platform between the already existing platforms 1 and 2 on the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway.

Its red brick facade used for movie posters. Author: Mikey CC BY 2.0

Due to this idea, the platforms were renamed as 1 and 3, reserving the number 2 for this soon to come platform. But following a chain of events, the idea of building this new platform was dropped and replaced with another one – build a whole new station.

A photo of the abandoned station taken from Piccadilly Station. Author: Gerald England Gerald England

Just for clarification the platforms remain known as 1 and 3, skipping the “two”. Once finished, travelers were able to get to London Road using the pedestrian overpass.  The station served its passengers well throughout the years.


The lonely platforms. Author: philld CC BY-SA 2.0

Once WWII came on England’s doorstep, the station suffered badly, just as many other structures in Manchester did. On December 22, 1940, this railway was thumped by a parachute mine that caused grave damage.

Manchester Mayfield Station. Author: Gerald England CC BY-SA 2.0

The Mayfield Station was mainly used as a suburban transport hub that took the passengers to the south side of Manchester. As the 1950s were getting closer to their end, the station was slowly getting out of service and the passengers were relocated to Piccadilly Station.

The station was officially closed to passengers in August 1960. After its closure, the station later received another purpose. It was converted to a depot which opened for use July 6, 1970.

Part of the abandoned Mayfield Railway Station. Author: Mikey CC BY 2.0

It was the Royal Mail that got the most benefit of using this railway. They built a processing and distribution center just across the main line that was directly linked to Mayfield Station. There was even a conveyor belt that crossed the Piccadilly Station.

It was 1986 when it was decided that the depot should be closed, for rail transport was lacking the advantages of the road transportation. Once the depot closed, the station remain abandoned.

Part of the abandoned Mayfield Railway Station. Author: Mikey CC BY 2.0

When the Piccadilly Station was renovated, part of the train tracks of Mayfield were removed. The processing and distribution center was remodeled and was used for kart racing.

After this period it was once more renovated for use as office space for Network Rail. In 2003 the conveyor belt was removed. At this time London and Continental Railways are the owners of the property.

The abandoned Mayfield Railway Station. Author: Mikey CC BY 2.0

Its abandoned and gloomy atmosphere was just what the filming crew of the British TV series Prime Suspect was looking for. Stuart Orme and Alex Pillai the directors of the TV drama The Last Train, also used the abandoned Mayfield for their filming purposes.

The abandoned train tracks. Author: philld CC BY-SA 2.0

When the 21st century arrived, research done by consulting agency Mott MacDonald looked into the potential of Piccadilly Station and how to increase its capacity. A number of solutions were given, ranging from increasing the number of train tracks to reopening Mayfield Station.

The disused Manchester Mayfield Station. Author: Gerald England CC BY-SA 2.0

Whatever the future of this station is, it remains abandoned and continuing to offer its ambiance to a number of filming crews.

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