HS2

25.02.16

Ordsall Chord track works force station closures for 11 days

Manchester Victoria and Salford Central will be closed for 11 days between 24 March and 4 April while engineers prepare station tracks and strengthen railway arches as part of ongoing Ordsall Chord works.

Engineers will be moving existing track on the approach to Manchester Victoria so that when the new 300m section of track is completed, it can connect and fit in with the new track layout.

They will also be strengthening arches supporting the railway to allow heavier loads to be carried in future, as well as widening Middlewood viaduct and installing a new bridge in the same area.

This will follow on from ongoing works already happening around the area, with Network Rail workers carrying out preparatory works for a number of weeks now on overhead lines, waterproofing and signalling without yet affecting services.

Trains will be diverted to the city’s two other major stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Oxford Road, in the meantime.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, acknowledged that the extensive closure will cause disruption but urged passengers to “view this short-term pain against the long-term gain it will help achieve” for the city and northern businesses.

“The Ordsall Chord will bring better connectivity and faster journeys between the great cities of the north, including Hull, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester,” he added.

The much-delayed and controversial Chord is a new section of track intended to link Manchester’s three main rail stations for the first time. It will be built north-west of Castlefield Junction, linking that line with the Deal Street Junction line.

Despite challenges made against the project, rail and council leaders in the city agree that, once complete in 2017, it will bring “transformational benefits” to Manchester’s city centre and general rail connectivity, as well as help ease congestion across the north.

During the upcoming closures – scheduled to coincide with the Easter school break, when “traditionally fewer people will be travelling” – trams will still be running into Manchester Victoria.

Manchester Victoria will also have to close every Sunday for 12 weeks until 17 April.

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