Consultation into Manchester rail link plans

Passengers at Manchester Piccadilly
Image caption Funding for the line between Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria has been confirmed

A public consultation has been launched over plans for a new railway line linking Manchester's Victoria and Piccadilly stations.

Network Rail is proposing to build the new £85m Ordsall Chord line as part of its Northern Hub project, to revamp rail services in the north of England.

The scheme includes electrifying the line between Manchester and Liverpool and improving Manchester Victoria.

The station could be turned into a major interchange under the plans.

Graham Botham, boss of Network Rail's Northern Hub, said: "Rail travel has been growing and the network is very, very busy...these plans give the opportunity for 44 million more journeys each year on 700 trains a day."

David Golding, Network Rail's route enhancement manager, added: "I think people will get more frequent services, faster services and of course quieter more reliable operation."

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed funding for the Ordsall Chord line in the budget earlier this year.

The line would allow services to travel between Piccadilly and Victoria, reviving a former plan in the city for a "Picc-Vic" link.

According to Network Rail, such a link would see all fast trans-Pennine services going via Manchester Victoria station - a much quicker route.

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