November 15 2017
| Region: Cymru Wales, East Midlands, East of England, London, North East & Cumbria, North West, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire & the Humber
Manchester’s three busiest railway stations have been linked up for the first time following completion of the new Ordsall Chord bridge in the centre of the city last week.
The Chord is the centrepiece of Network Rail’s multi billion pound Great North Rail project and will help to create new routes, including to Manchester Airport, when the first passenger trains run on it in December.
The structure – said to be the world’s first asymmetric rail bridge – will also reduce congestion at Piccadilly station by around a quarter, allowing faster and more frequent train services.
Rail Minister Paul Maynard installed the final rail clip onto the Ordsall Chord last week. The new bridge is located where George Stephenson first unveiled the Liverpool to Manchester railway in 1830.
Paul Maynard welcomed the completion of the Chord as a key milestone in the delivery on the Great Rail North project, which he said would “deliver faster and more comfortable journeys, with new trains, extra carriages and more than 2000 extra services a week” by 2020.
Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham commented: “Greater Manchester has long called for the Ordsall Chord to unlock capacity on the rail network across the North and it is great that we can finally celebrate its completion.
“The iconic network arch bridge will create a new landmark on the Manchester skyline. It harks back to the glory days of rail investment and stands just yards from the site of the world’s first ever railway station.”
♦ Work has begun this week on a major conservation project to save the famous Iron Bridge over the River Severn in Shropshire. The structure, built in 1779, was the first single span arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron, marking a turning point in British engineering.
English Heritage is calling on the public to help raise the funds needed to complete work to clean, conserve and repair the bridge, which is under threat from cracking and stresses in the ironwork.
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