Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria rail link plans submitted

Drawing of the Ordsall Chord The new viaduct will connect Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria

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Plans for a viaduct to connect three Manchester railway stations have been submitted by Network Rail.

The Ordsall Chord will link Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria.

Network Rail said it would ease a "rail bottleneck" south of Piccadilly and enable more trains to travel through Manchester city centre.

The application to the Department for Transport follows an 18-month consultation. If approved, work could be completed by 2017.

The rail operating company said the new rail bridge would enable it to provide two more fast trains an hour between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool and Leeds and Manchester plus a direct service through Manchester city centre to Manchester Airport.

Network Rail added it will speed up journeys between Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool and Hull, Newcastle and the North East.

Map showing Ordsall Chord

The application is part of the multi-million pound Northern Hub upgrade for rail services in the North of England which include two new platforms at Piccadilly, next to platform 14, and widening the railway corridor around Oxford Road station.

Dyan Crowther, Network Rail's route managing director, said: "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."

The Transport and Works Act unit is inviting views on the proposals until 28 October.

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