Manchester Victoria and Salford Central stations reopened to passengers today after a 10-day closure over Easter, as part of enabling works for the Ordsall Chord rail link.
Network Rail engineers worked over the period to widen the Middlewood viaduct, install a new bridge and strengthen railway arches.
The work is in preparation for the Ordsall Chord, a new piece of railway which will connect Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly stations for the first time.
As part of the Ordsall Chord, a new railway bridge will be built in the local area, known as a Network Arch Bridge. George Stephenson’s Bridge, which is grade one-listed and currently hidden from view, will be refurbished and made visible.
Work on Ordsall Chord is expected to complete in December 2017. Network Rail claims that passengers will see congestion at Manchester Piccadilly reduced by a quarter, and a new link between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria for the first time.
At the end of last month the Court of Appeal dismissed a lengthy legal challenge to the process by which planning permission had been granted to the construction of the Ordsall Chord, brought forward by objector Mark Whitby, an engineer who formerly worked on the design panel for the scheme.