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Lucky ticket holders the first to cross Manchester's Ordsall Chord

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11th December 2017

Northern Rail officially welcomed customers onto the first passenger service to cross Manchester’s Ordsall Chord as of Sunday, 10th December.

The Ordsall Chord is a new stretch of track with a bridge, the centrepiece of the Great North Rail Project that connects north and South Manchester via Manchester Victoria, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly stations.

The track, costing £85 million and stretching for 300 metres, is aimed at speeding up journeys and boosting frequency from north of Manchester to the south.

Ordsall Chord's opening signals a new era of railway travel in Manchester, where George Stephenson birthed his railway vision of the 19th century.

A limited number of lucky customers were able to claim a golden ticket to commemorate the first day in service of the iconic bridge.

To begin with, services crossing the Ordsall Chord will only travel between Oxford Road and Victoria, but Northern promises a railway schedule re-jig in the New Year to allow for more services that will also serve Piccadilly.

The new bridge is a key link in the modernisation of rail services in the north west, and it will also make way for future east-west links.

Managing Director at Northern, David Brown, said: “The Ordsall Chord is now an iconic part of the railway in the north of England – as well as the Manchester skyline – and is tangible evidence of the Great North Rail Project and the rail industry working together.

It’s fantastic that our customers are now able to cross the city by rail and we look forward to the extension of these services from Bradford through to Manchester Airport."

Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “This is a historic day for the north and for rail travel in the UK because Manchester’s three main stations are linked for the first time. The Ordsall Chord will help to support faster, more flexible journeys for passengers across the region.

“It’s a key part of the Great North Rail Project, which will increase direct rail links between Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and other cities in the north.”

Chair of Rail North, Cllr Liam Robinson, said: “We look forward to building on this success through further infrastructure and franchise enhancements to allow people to travel more easily by rail.”

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