Manchester Victoria and Salford Central stations in the UK have been reopened to passengers after a ten-day closure over Easter, as part of enabling works for the Ordsall Chord rail link.
Under the works, Network Rail (NR) engineers have moved the track, widened the Middlewood viaduct and installed a new bridge, as well as strengthened railway arches.
In March, NR formed an alliance with Amey, Skanska, Bam Nuttall, and Siemens to build the new Ordsall Chord project in Manchester in order to improve rail travel for commuters across the north of England.
The Ordsall Chord will link Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly for the first time and help to deliver faster and more frequent train services.
Network Rail route managing director Martin Frobisher said: "Firstly I would like to thank passengers and the train operating companies for their patience and understanding during the ten-day closure.
"I realise it caused some disruption but it was absolutely necessary to close both stations so we could take a step closer to providing the train service that passengers in Manchester and across the north of England deserve.
"Once complete, the Ordsall Chord will provide many benefits and play a major role in helping us deliver the northern programme.
"Not only will it link two major stations in Manchester and speed up journey times, but it will provide a boost to the local economy, helping to create thousands of new jobs."
The Chord project, which is part of NR’s £1bn northern programme, will involve construction of a new railway bridge, known as a Network Arch Bridge, in the area.
Along the route, the Grade 1 listed George Stephenson’s Bridge will be refurbished and made visible as part of the development.
Preliminary works started in October and the project is scheduled to be completed at the end of next year.
Image: Manchester Victoria station platforms one and two. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.