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'Iconic' Ordsall Chord completed by Network Rail

Manchester’s three main railway stations have been connected for the first time today with the completion of the Ordsall Chord.

The historic centre piece of the Great North Rail Project, the Ordsall Chord bridge, will join Manchester’s Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria stations together.

Located on the birthplace of the modern inter-city railway, where George Stephenson first unveiled the Liverpool-Manchester railway almost 200 years ago, the bridge will serve customers across the north of England.

Passengers as far as Newcastle will benefit from quick direct services to Manchester airport.

Ordsall Chord aerial

Rail minister, Paul Maynard, installed the final rail clip into the world’s first asymmetric rail bridge, marking its completion.

He said: “The new Ordsall Chord is a major milestone for the Great North Rail Project and forms a key part of this government’s £13bn investment in transport in the north.

“The construction of this new iconic bridge has supported 2,000 jobs, including new apprentices and graduates and will provide new and direct links to Manchester Airport from across the region.

“By 2020, the Great North Rail Project will deliver faster and more comfortable journeys, with new trains, extra carriages and more than 2,000 extra services a week.”

The first passenger train will run across the bridge next month.

Martin Frobisher, LNW route managing director at Network Rail, called the completion of the bridge a “seminal moment in the Great North Rail Project.”

He added: “Team Orange is mirroring the vision of George Stephenson for the benefit of the communities we serve for generations to come.”

Northern’s regional director, Liam Sumpter, called the opening of the Ordsall Chord “a landmark moment for rail travel in the north of England.”

He continued: “Thanks to the work of the Great North Rail Project we will be able to run services from Calder Valley direct through to Manchester Oxford Road.

“But this is just the start. We will soon have 281 new, purpose-built, Northern carriages running across our network.

“We will introduce 2000 extra services a week and all will call at better stations with modernised facilities.

“The Ordsall Chord will help pave the way for many of these improvements and heralds what promises an exciting future for rail travel in the region.”

Lee Goodwin, managing director at TransPennine Express said that the company would be investing £500m in brand new trains for the new rail link.

Chair of Rail North, Councillor Liam Robinson, explained the importance of such projects: “It is investment like this and in other major programmes, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, that will ensure the North gets the rail network that it needs and deserves.”

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Andrew Gwilt   10/11/2017 at 03:04

Well done Network Rail. This new link will provide better services between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria stations aswell services coming to/from Manchester.

Andrew JG   10/11/2017 at 04:09

Bravo Network Rail. Another achievement nearing its completion.

Greville Jones   10/11/2017 at 13:19

Excellent Job well done to Network Rail!

Not A Parody, Honest   10/11/2017 at 14:46

Congrats Network Rail for serving the completion of the Ordsall Chord for trains into Manchester Victoria.

Dr Iain Frew   10/11/2017 at 17:44

At last the key stations north and south of Manchester city centre are linked together. The Picc-Vic tunnel would have been even more costly if it had ever happened.

Nonsuchmike   13/11/2017 at 12:08

Great. Well done everybody. At long last. Far more flexibility of routes to benefit locals, commuters and longer distance travellers. Only needs the TOCs to respond to the demand. Now for the Halton chord to be doubled and passenger routes to be implemented to assist people in Merseyside and North Wales in their travel requisites. The case for this is irrepressible.

Lee   14/11/2017 at 07:56

Excellent news! Now could Network rail please get on with completing the electrification of the Manchester - Preston line? This route was the first to be approved and is the last to be electrified and has been on the go for 3 years. True a lot of catenary masts have been erected but none have been installed in stations with the exception of Moses Gate and the passing loop and Platform 1 at Salford Crescent. Yes I know mine workings along the route have delayed things (again) but before there is too much back-patting please deliver the schemes that were supposed to be up and running in three weeks time but are now delayed again until March (at the earliest) next year .

Dazza P Jones   14/11/2017 at 14:23

Now the ordsall chord is finished are their plans for the extra platforms at piccadilly?

Lee   16/11/2017 at 07:37

Now the ordsall chord is finished are their plans for the extra platforms at piccadilly? Dazza, site investigatyion of the ground conditions along the route between Deansgate and Piccadilly were undertaken some time ago. Plans for the additional Piccadilly platforms plus the remodelling of Oxford Road station have been published on the Network rail website but appear to have been removed. I understand one of the Manchester Universities has objected to the scheme on the grounds the construction works would damage a number of experiments, affected sensitive research equipment that could not be turned off during the construction works. Things have certainly gone quiet with the scheme and I'm not sure if the project has now been postponed or dropped, despite it being a crucial part of increasing capacity along the Castlefield corridor in Manchester city centre. other schemes like the Ordsall Chord and completion of bi-directional signalling along the corridor, which were also key components have now been completed.

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