The Manchester railway network suffered from a gap in the central area, as both Piccadilly and Victoria stood on the edge of the city centre. The PiccVic proposal envisaged joining the two halves of the rail network by constructing new tunnels under the city centre. This new underground railway would be served by three new underground stations, joining together the regional, national and local rail networks with a real underground railway system for Manchester.
The scheme was put forward by the predecessor to the current urban transport operator GMPTE, known then as SELNEC Public Transport Executive (PTE) - an administrative body for transport which then ran the bus operations in South-East Lancashire and North-East Cheshire, an area that was mostly absorbed by the new Greater Manchester Metropolitan County that was formed in 1974. Although the scheme was not successful, it later evolved into the Metrolink system that operates in the city today.