Latest Rail News

04.03.16

Ordsall Chord appeal hearing brought forward to March

The Court of Appeal hearing into the much-delayed £85m Ordsall Court scheme has been brought forward from April to March, but work on the project will continue at the moment, RTM has been told.

In October 2015, a judge dismissed the legal challenge by Mark Whitby, a former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, who said his alternative scheme, known as Option 15, could deliver the same performance improvements for passengers as the Chord without the same impact on the heritage of the structures in the area.

However, he accepted that Option 15 was more expensive than Network Rail’s proposal. In January, Whitby was given leave to appeal against the construction of the Ordsall Chord rail link by the Court of Appeal.

The original date had been set for mid-April, but this has been brought forward to 21-22 March, RTM has learned.

Martyn Angus, LNW route senior programme sponsor at Network Rail, told RTM: “We now have a programme of works that gets us to December 2017. The issues with the Transport Works Act Order (TWAO) are still ongoing, and we are aware of them.

“But as things currently stand, we are carrying on with the works and using the powers that we’ve been granted under the TWAO. We have a programme that we can deliver at the moment. Obviously, that could change depending on what happens at the court hearing. The Court of Appeal hearing has been brought forward to the 21-22 March.

“It was originally meant to be in April, but we made a request to bring it forward. The earlier we can have it, and have more certainty, the better.”

7 701 842 ordsall chord

The 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.

 However, the line would also intersect the world’s first ever intercity railway line, built by George Stephenson in 1830, and see a number of other Grade-II listed buildings and bridges demolished. 

Network Rail’s original plan was to begin construction on the project in late 2014 or early 2015, but the objections and inquiry have significantly delayed the timescale. 

Network Rail started excavation work last month on the new Ordsall Chord, which is now due to be complete by December 2017. And, as things stand, 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. However, this work is due to commence after the appeal hearing.

Read more about the upcoming Ordsall Chord works taking place during Easter in the Feb/March edition of RTM.

Comments

Cynick   04/03/2016 at 12:28

Considering the challenges of the past when the Greats designed the network that we all enjoy, it astonishes me that modern engineers cannot devise a system, perhaps, of a swing turntable on jacks to allow very occasional rail access to the Museum of Science and Industry. Would this satisfy Mark Whitby?

Andrew G   04/03/2016 at 12:29

So this new Ordsall Chord railway link line will link the 3 Manchester's main railway stations-Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria and Manchester Oxford Road with new trains and new services operated on the new rail link in Manchester.

Cynick   04/03/2016 at 12:50

Considering the challenges of the past when the Greats designed the network that we all enjoy, it astonishes me that modern engineers cannot devise a system, perhaps, of a swing turntable on jacks to allow very occasional rail access to the Museum of Science and Industry. Would this satisfy Mark Whitby?

Jb   08/03/2016 at 12:42

I feel sure that Cynick's suggestion should be possible and such a provision (or equivalent) included in the plans. However, I believe the main objection to NR's design is the devastating effect it would have on the historic railway sites in the area. By all means we look forward to this connection but with an alignment more sympathetic to these sites - which is what I believe Mr Whitby suggested.

HL   10/03/2016 at 10:29

Personally I think it is disgusting that designers never take account of heritage issues such as this. As Cynick suggests, there ought to be some compromise or alternative to avoid such a devastating effect on such a historic railway site.

Mn   10/03/2016 at 13:39

The only thing that would satisfy Mark Whitby would be his own plan through the Middlewood Locks site adopted. This was rejected by the Public Inquiry because of the cost and the developments plans Salford Council have for the area. The route adopted doesn't destroy any heritage sites it just cuts off the never used MOSI line. A price worth paying for a new railway line. Its just sour grapes on Whitby's part. The sooner its built the better

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >