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  • Ordsall Chord

    As part of our plan to improve rail travel in the North, Northern Hub, we need to build a new viaduct to connect Manchester’s Victoria, Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations

  • Computer generated image of the proposed Ordsall Chord

    Since October 2015, work has been taking place on the Ordsall Chord.  This will be 300 metres of new track which will create a link between Manchester city centre’s main train stations for the first time.  This new section will be to the north west of Castlefield Junction, linking the line with the Deal Street Junction line, connecting Manchester Victoria, Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly.  However, for this vital piece of track to be fitted, a huge amount of work needs to take place beforehand.  This includes realigning existing track, building new bridges, removing disused arches and restoring Grade I listed structures.

    Once the work is completed by December 2017, the chord will help provide many benefits not only to passengers but the wider economy.

  • Ordsall chord map

  • The benefits

    • New direct links to Manchester Airport from across the north of England
    • Congestion currently seen at Manchester Piccadilly will reduce by a quarter with some services being rerouted through Manchester Victoria
    • More capacity, meaning more frequent trains to run
    • Three main Manchester stations will be linked meaning improved connectivity for those traveling through the city and beyond
    • The local and wider economy will be boosted, helping create more jobs
    • There will be links near to new business and residential developments
    • The project will support the delivery of Network Rail’s £1bn+ Railway Upgrade Plan for the north, meaning faster and more frequent trains.

  • Christmas work 2016

    During the run up to and during the Christmas period, we will be carrying out an extensive amount of work as we continue to build the Ordsall Chord and provide a better railway to passengers.

    The work will involve reconfiguring the existing railway between Eccles and Deansgate, Eccles and Manchester Victoria and Deansgate and Salford Crescent stations. The track changes will allow the 300 metre chord, a brand new section of railway, to connect with the new layout before work is completed by December 2017.

    Other work will consist of the installation of two new bridges and renovation of one existing bridge on Water Street, the widening of Castlefield viaduct and a new track lay out at Ordsall Lane. There will also be signalling improvements as well as constructing new overhead line equipment.

    To ensure this essential work can be carried out safely, train services in and out of Manchester will be affected at different times, including:

    • Weekends from Saturday 29 October until Sunday 11 December 2016.
    • Between early Sunday 18 December 2016 until the last service on Monday 2 January 2017.

    Oxford Road and Deansgate stations will also be affected and be closed on December 27 and 31 as well as January 1 and 2. All stations will be closed to train services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day as usual.

    Passengers are being advised to plan their journey and check or with their train operator before they travel.

    We apologise for any inconvenience caused but we are dedicated to improving rail links and journey times so passengers receive the service they deserve.

    Project update at a glance

    The new footbridge crossing the River Irwell has now been installed and will be open to the public later next year.

    Stephenson’s Bridge has been painstakingly cleaned underneath. The process took two weeks and was cleaned by hand. Other work is due to take place in the coming weeks.

    Precast concrete arch segments are in position by Castlefield Viaduct.

    The Trinity Way Bridge will be lifted into place later in the year.

    The iconic Network Arch Bridge will be lifted by two cranes over the River Irwell early 2017.

    Precast concreteStephenson's bridge cleanup

    The ongoing work is understandably creating a huge interest in the project and we have had a number of visitors on site to see how the scheme is progressing. Representatives of train operating companies such as Northern and Transpennine Express have given their full backing to the project, recognising the benefits the chord will deliver to their customers. Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese, Interim Mayor for Manchester Tony Lloyd and Salford Mayor Paul Dennett have also donned Network Rail orange and commented on the scale and complexities of the programme while also understanding how it will help improve rail travel.

    Northern and TPE colleagues visit the Ordsall Chord sitePaul Dennett

    Stay in touch

    You can email the project team with any further queries at

    We will update this page with further information as it becomes available.



  • Ordsall Chord Image Gallery

    April 2016: Irwell footbridge under construction at Severfield's factory in Horwich

    May 2016: Construction of Irwell footbridge continues on site

    May 2016: Irwell footbridge fully constructed on site

    June 2016: Girder extension covering George Stephenson's bridge - this will be removed before Stephenson's bridge is cleaned and revealed to the public

    June 2016: This is how Stephenson's bridge currently looks - in the background you can see Prince's bridge which will be removed and replaced by the Irwell footbridge


    July 2016 – Princes’ Bridge has been removed by a large crane and will soon be replaced by the new Irwell footbridge

    August 2016 – The Irwell footbridge has been constructed on site and is ready to be lifted into place

    August 2016 – The footbridge is ready to be lowered by the crane. It won’t be open to the public until later next year

    September 2016 – One section of the iconic network arch bridge. This, along with another being constructed on site, will be lifted into position in early 2017

    September 2016 – A view from above the new bridges for Water Street. These will be installed as part of the Christmas work on the Ordsall Chord


    October 2016 – Precast concrete being installed as part of the Castlefield viaduct

    October 2016 – A point-of-view shot of where the network arch bridge will go. It will fit in between the two supports currently in the River Irwell and cross over the footbridge towards Trinity Way