Work on Manchester’s strategically important rail link is entering its final phase as Network Rail moves towards completion in December.
The remaining programme will mean some Manchester Victoria sevices will be affected at weekends and bank holidays up until the beginning of October, the organisation said.
Since the start of the New Year, Network Rail 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 signalling work, the laying of ballast and completing the installation of overhead line equipment.
The Ordsall Chord is part of Network Rail’s £1bn-plus 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. It is due for completion by December.
Project director 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. 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.”
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.”