Ordsall Chord Bridge has achieved an historic first by connecting Manchester’s three main railway stations for the first time.
Announced by Network Rail, this latest update is symbolic in the birthplace of modern intercity railways, as the the new, state-of-the-art development that will drive rail in this area into the future, replaces the old that existed previously.
The centrepiece of the Great North Rail Project, which will transform and upgrade the region’s railways, Ordsall Chord Bridge is the first asymmetric rail bridge in the world.
Not only will the new bridge help customers in Manchester, but it will also benefit passengers and businesses using the network throughout the north of England, with services going from Manchester directly to other areas in the north, even as far as Newcastle.
It is part of a £13 billion investment in transport in the region and has been described as a “major milestone” in the Great North Rail Project by Rail Minister, Paul Maynard, who was on hand to celebrate the completion of Ordsall Chord Bridge.
He explained how the wider development will benefit the area.
“The construction of this new iconic bridge has supported 2,000 jobs, including new apprentices and graduates and will provide new and direct links to Manchester Airport from across the region.
“By 2020, the Great North Rail Project will deliver faster and more comfortable journeys, with new trains, extra carriages and more than 2,000 extra services a week.”
By connecting Manchester Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria via this bridge, congestion at the city’s main train station will be eased by 25% and the upshot of this is that more frequent services will be available, which will be faster too.
The official opening of Ordsall Chord Bridge was marked by a delegate of officials walking across part of the bridge. Those in attendance included the Rail Minister, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Salford Mayor Paul Dennett, Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne and Martin Frobisher, route Managing Director of Network Rail.
The first passenger train will travel across the bridge next month.