Network Rail has submitted an application for a new rail link connecting Manchester’s Piccadilly and Victoria stations, the Ordsall Chord, which it says is a key step in delivering faster, more frequent rail travel across the North of England.
The application is part of the wider Northern Hub programme to provide around 700 additional trains on the network every day, delivering space for 44 million passengers per year.
Network Rail predicts that the Northern Hub programme will generate more than £4bn worth of economic benefits and create 20,000-30,000 new jobs.
Once completed in late 2016 or early 2017, the new Ordsall Chord will ease a major rail bottleneck to the south of Piccadilly station and allow more trains to travel through central Manchester.
The proposed rail connection will provide two new fast trains per hour between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool, six fast trains an hour between Leeds and Manchester, and faster journeys between Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.
The Orsall Chord will also facilitate a new direct service through Manchester city centre to Manchester Airport and faster journey times to Hull, Newcastle and the North East.
Works on the new railway line are expected to commence in late 2014 or early 2015.
Network Rail route managing director Dyan Crowther said that Britain relies on rail and with demand for rail travel increasing it is essential to invest in the railway to provide a better service for passengers with more trains, additional seats and fewer delays.
"Submitting the Ordsall Chord application is a key milestone for the Northern Hub programme," Crowther added.
"The new viaduct will unlock much-needed capacity on the rail network and deliver faster, more frequent services across the North, as well as stimulating low carbon economic growth."
Image: The Ordsall Chord will help deliver faster, more frequent rail travel across the North of England, according to Network Rail. Credit: Network Rail.