The Sleeper's Blog

27.01.17

Watch how the Ordsall Chord work progressed over Christmas

Network Rail has released a short documentary film to demonstrate the huge progress made over the Christmas period on its Ordsall Chord project.

The film shows how around 1,500 people from Network Rail and associated businesses helped to construct and extend the section of railway in central Manchester between Sunday 18 December and Tuesday 3 January 2017.

The renewal of the existing railway between Eccles and Deansgate will allow the connection of the 300 metre chord before work is completed by the end of 2017.

Network Rail’s Mike Heywood, alliance manager for the organisations involved in the Ordsall Chord project, said: “As the film shows, the work undertaken has been complex and extremely challenging, however, it’s a challenge the team accepted and completed on time thanks to the expertise of those involved.

“From the start of the project until completion in December 2017, we will have used 14,339 cubic metres of concrete, 28,500 tonnes of ballast, installed 66 new/altered signals, 4,378 tonnes of steel and built seven bridges. This gives an idea of the scale of the project and how we are determined to improve the journeys of passengers across the region.”

The work over the holiday period consisted over the installation of 3km of new overhead wiring, 8 new sets of switches and crossing, 1km of new track, 9,000 tonnes of new ballast, 52 new signals and 76 axle counters.

Other works consisted of the removal of an existing Grade 2 listed bridge and its replacement with a new bridge which carries the first section of the Ordsall Chord.

Due to the size and scale of the work, train services were necessarily affected although a route into Manchester was maintained at all times.

Keith Gardner, project director for Skanska, one of the construction companies involved with the works, said: “The project team has delivered a major programme of extremely complex work over the Christmas period on time and to plan, which is a testament to the skill and dedication of everyone involved.

“I'm very pleased and proud with what we've achieved, and the team and I are looking forward to delivering the next phase of work as we head for completion at the end of this year.”

When the Ordsall Chord is fully complete, Manchester’s Piccadilly and Victoria stations will be linked for the first time, reducing congestion at Piccadilly by one quarter and offering a direct link from the station to Manchester Airport.

To watch the video of the Ordsall Chord Christmas construction project, please click here.

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