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Ordsall chord design CGI

Ordsall Chord

As part of our plan to improve rail travel in the north of England, we’re building a viaduct to link Manchester’s Victoria, Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations

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 Piccadilly stations. 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 in December 2017, the chord will help provide many benefits not only to passengers but also to the wider economy.

The benefits

  • There will be 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.
  • There will be more capacity on the railway, meaning more frequent trains to run.
  • Three main Manchester stations will be linked, meaning improved connectivity for those travelling 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 layout 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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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 in early 2017.

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 visited and commented on the scale and complexities of the programme while also understanding how it will help improve rail travel.

Stay in touch

You can email the project team with any further queries at Ordsallchord@networkrail.co.uk

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