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Manchester stations to close as part of vital Ordsall Chord works

Manchester rail stations will close over Christmas as engineering work on the Ordsall Chord continues.

The chord, which will link Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria stations, will see services to Manchester Airport operational by December 2017.

Network Rail has now announced the next phase of construction, which will take place in the city centre over Christmas.

This will include reconfiguring the existing railway between Eccles, Deansgate, Manchester Victoria and Salford Crescent; installing two new bridges; renovating an existing bridge on Water Street; widening the Castlefield viaduct; laying new track on Ordsall Lane; signalling improvements; and constructing new overhead line equipment.

As a consequence, Oxford Road and Deansgate stations will be closed on 27 December and from 31 December to 2 January.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “While I recognise the short-term pain of timetable impacts as we build the Ordsall Chord, I would urge people to keep sight of the long-term gain this scheme will bring them.

“Connecting Manchester’s two main stations removes a pinch-point on the rail network that has existed for more than 100 years. This will improve train travel not just for people in Manchester itself but for passenger across whole of the north of England.”

Arriva and East Midlands trains will also be cancelled between Manchester Piccadilly and Warrington stations. Northern trains between Manchester Airport and Blackpool North/ Barrow-in-Furness will be diverted to Manchester Victoria.

TransPennine Express will cancel services between Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street and between Manchester Airport and Glasgow Central, and Virgin Trains will run a reduced service from Manchester Piccadilly.

Liam Sumpter, regional director for Northern, said: “This colossal engineering undertaking will make a huge difference to our customers. Not only for those who travel across Manchester but also those who travel through the city to the rest of the North. Many of our customers in the region are looking forward to the benefits this project will bring to their journeys with us in the future; more seats, faster journeys and better trains.”

Steve Lee, head of customer experience for TransPennine Express, agreed that the work was “a vital part” of improving Manchester’s railways.

Manchester residents were also warned to expect road closures in the city centre. Parts of Water Street and Liverpool Road will be closed between 18 and 29 December, and Potato Wharf will be closed between Liverpool Road and New Elm Street from 20 to 22 December.

(Image c. Network Rail)

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