The longest and most complex stage of Network Rail’s Ordsall Chord project to increase rail capacity through Manchester and Salford has been completed on time.
Between Sunday 18 December 2016 and Monday 2 January 2017 around 700 engineers installed 3km of new overhead wiring, eight new switches and crossings, 1km of new track, 9,000 tonnes of new ballast, and lifted 500 tonnes of steel into place for two new bridges.
During the 15-day period, existing railway track between Eccles and Deansgate, Eccles and Manchester Victoria, and Deansgate and Salford Crescent stations was reconfigured. Water Street bridge was also renovated, and Castlefield viaduct widened.
Part of Network Rail’s £1bn Rail Upgrade Plan, Ordsall Chord will link Manchester’s Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria stations and open up new direct routes to Manchester Airport from across the North.
Work on Ordsall Chord is expected to complete in December 2017.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail said: “The benefits of the Ordsall Chord will be felt for generations by customers as far off as Newcastle, Hull, Liverpool and countless other great towns and cities in the North.”
He added: “I would like to thank train passengers for their understanding over the festive period. I would also remind everyone that the short-term pain of disruption to journeys will be worth the long-term gain the Ordsall Chord will bring.”
Normal service has now resumed for passengers.