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GALLERY | First trains cross Ordsall Chord

Manchester’s Ordsall Chord rail link welcomed its first passenger trains on Sunday, marking the opening of the connection between Victoria and Piccadilly stations.

Existing Northern Rail services from Leeds to Manchester Victoria will now be extended to stop at Manchester Oxford Road, although will not continue on to Piccadilly station due to insufficient capacity.

See gallery below

The route from Leeds will be extended to Manchester Airport in May 2018.

Construction work on the Ordsall Chord, which forms part of the wider Northern Hub project, officially completed on 9 November, having started in October 2015. The Northern Hub will complete by the end of 2017.

The project has been built by a joint venture of Skanska, Bam Nuttall, Amey Sersa, and Siemens, alongside steelwork contractor Severfield, consultants WSP, Aecom, and Mott MacDonald, and architect BDP.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director of Network Rail, said: “The completion of Ordsall Chord is a seminal moment in the Great North Rail Project, which will transform train travel for millions of customers across the north. The old is giving birth to the new. We are mirroring the vision of George Stephenson for the benefit of the communities we serve for generations to come.”

BDP’s transport architect director Peter Jenkins added: “I’ve been working on this for six years and it’s been a difficult project to work on – it’s been controversial with lots of difficult moments. But it was just great to go on a train with passengers.”

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Great. Just need to sort out the 30+ year old Pacer units going over it now,

By InterestedParty

‘Although will not continue on to Piccadilly station due to insufficient capacity’
Yeah, because our stupid central government would rather spend tens of billions of pounds on London’s Crossrail than add a couple of platforms to Piccadilly for a fraction of the cost. So much for the ‘Northern Powerhouse’… sigh

By Anonymous

“Connection between Victoria and Piccadilly stations”…but it doesn’t stop at Piccadilly….that’s one hell of a connection!

By Pineapple Chunks

Great to see this completed but embarrassing to see we are still using Pacer Trains in 2018 – woeful!

By Craig Earley

All we need now is a train that goes to Piccadilly which isn’t driven by Casey Jones.

By Elephant

“Insufficient capacity” – at least until they divert trains away from Piccadilly to Victoria from the West (such as Southport, Wigan, Bolton etc.) to cater for trains from the East adding ten minutes on to the running time to Piccadilly. Good move!!!

By JGW905

We don’t need trains ‘diverted away from Piccadilly’ – this is the major train hub in Greater Manchester. And we don’t need extra platforms at Piccadilliy. Without four tracking, this gives little additional capacity, but introduces additional potential for unreliability (in the two track section Picc-Ox Rd). What we do need is a proper tunnel to take suburban trains under the city, like EVERY German city seems to have. Unfortunately the Ordsall Curve adds no extra capacity (the re-signalling is the only item in the programme to have added capacity), but does add additional complexity through two new flat junctions, and the potential to import extra unreliability.

By Peter Black