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Easter spotlight: Ordsall Chord

01 March 2016

Over the Easter bank holiday, more than 15,000 members of Network Rail’s Orange Army will be working night and day to deliver £60m of improvements to the railway as part of Network Rail’s £40bn investment in its Railway Upgrade Plan.

This series of bite-size features takes a closer look at the work they’ll be carrying out across Britain to create a better, more reliable railway.


What’s the Ordsall Chord project?

A new section of track will be built to create a direct link between Manchester’s three main train stations – Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road – for the very first time.

The track will be built near Ordsall, to the north west of Castlefield Junction, and will link the Castlefield Junction line with the Deal Street Junction line.

The aim is to improve rail links in and around Manchester, helping to ease congestion on the railway and allowing faster, more frequent train services across the north of England. This will provide better connectivity between key cities including Hull, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester.

Ordsall Chord is part of an investment of over £1bn to improve the railway in the north of England, and will be completed in 2017.

What will the work involve?

To help create the new Ordsall Chord railway link between Manchester’s three main stations, engineers will be moving track on the approach to Manchester Victoria station. When the 300-metre-long new track section has been completed it will be able to connect with the new track layout.

It’s just part of the scheme of works going on in the area – railway arches are being strengthened to enable longer, faster electric trains and more train services, plus Middlewood Viaduct is being widened and a new bridge installed, to name just a few.

Why are we doing the work?

300 metres of track; thousands of potential new connections. The Ordsall Chord link will help revolutionise rail travel in the north of England, bringing a host of benefits for people across the region.

Not only will this work create a direct link between Manchester’s three key stations, making it easier for people across the city to get around, but the benefits will reach many of the cities’ key neighbours, opening up more opportunities for people from across the region to visit, work and connect with one another.

It’s the expansive next step in Network Rail’s plans to improve and transform links between the economic and industrial centres across the North, for passengers and freight alike.

Key benefits


  • Two new fast trains every hour between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool
  • Two new fast trains every hour between Leeds and Manchester (bringing the total number to six)
  • Faster journeys across the North, including to Hull, Newcastle and the North East
  • A new direct service through Manchester city centre to Manchester Airport


How will Easter train services be affected?

Manchester Victoria and Salford Central stations will be closed for 11 days from Thursday 24 March to Sunday 3 April, and will reopen on Monday 4 April. This has been planned to coincide with the Easter school break, when traditionally fewer people travel.

Trains will be diverted to Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations in the meantime, and bus replacements will also be made available. Trams will continue to run to Manchester Victoria station.

Passengers are urged to check their journey plans before travelling over Easter, and allow plenty of time for their journey.

Manchester Victoria is also closed every Sunday over 12 weeks until Sunday 17 April.

Find out more

See the Ordsall Chord project page