Better journeys ahead as the Ordsall Chord reaches its final stages: Ordsall Chord being lifted into place on Tuesday 21 February 2017

Thursday 13 Jul 2017

Better journeys ahead as the Ordsall Chord reaches its final stages

London North Western

Work on the Ordsall Chord, which will improve passenger journeys and rail travel across the north, is entering its final phase as it moves towards completion in December 2017.

Since the start of the New Year, Network Rail has been working round-the-clock to complete a number of key pieces of work.

So far engineers have:

  • Removed a section of Chapel Street bridge, sandwiched between two adjacent bridges
  • Replaced the bridge with a new steel structure weighing 260 tonnes which required 3500 bolts to put together
  • Laid over 1000 metres of new track and 3500 tonnes of ballast between Ordsall Lane and Deal Street
  • Installed new signals and 25kv overhead line equipment
  • Poured 600 cubic metres of concrete
  • Installed girders and cross beams on the new Trinity Way bridge
  • Fixed ‘hangers' which connect the arch section to the bottom deck of the network arch bridge

The final phase of the project will see further track realignment and new junctions at Water Street and Irwell Street as well as completing major signalling work, laying ballast and completing the installation of overhead line equipment for electric trains.

The Ordsall Chord is part of Network Rail’s £1bn+ Great North Rail Project and will provide new links to Manchester Airport from the north, provide more frequent trains and better connections, and connect Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria stations for the first time. It will be completed by December 2017.

Project director for Network Rail, Mike Heywood, said: “The Ordsall Chord will transform journeys for passengers in the north and help boost local and regional economies by providing better connections between towns, cities and Manchester Airport. 

“I am delighted with the progress we have made so far but there is a lot more work we need to complete.  The remaining programme will mean some train services coming into Manchester Victoria will be affected at weekends and bank holidays up until the beginning of October.  

“I would like to thank residents and passengers for the patience they have shown during these essential works as we work towards providing a better railway for this and many generations to come.”

Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director for TransPennine Express, said: “It’s great news for customers that this important project is nearing completion and I want to thank all those affected for bearing with us during over the past year.

“Going forward, the Ordsall Chord will allow us to introduce additional journey opportunities and more frequent services.”  

Liam Sumpter, regional director at Northern, said: “Ordsall Chord being so near completion is really exciting for our customers in Manchester and across the north of England.

“It is a remarkable feat of engineering and a vital part of the modernisation of the railway in the region. It will also play a critical role in enabling us to run more than 2,000 extra services per week by 2020."

For more information on the Ordsall Chord visit: 

Contact information

Passengers / community members
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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