Manchester railway station link plans are unveiled

How the line could look
Image caption The plans include include two options for a bridge over the River Irwell.

Plans for a viaduct linking three of Manchester's major railway stations have been unveiled.

The Ordsall Chord will link the city's Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road stations.

Network Rail has said the new line will help free up space on the network, making way for more frequent and faster services across the north of England.

A public consultation has opened on the plans which include two options for a bridge over the River Irwell.

One is a statement railway arch and the other is an alternative flat bridge.

'Better service'

The feedback from the public will be passed onto to the design panel and used to shape the plans.

Network Rail said the new line would mean it could deliver two new fast trains per hour between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool.

It would also be able to offer six fast trains, instead of four, an hour between Leeds and Manchester; faster journeys between Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool; a new direct service through Manchester city centre to Manchester Airport and faster journey times to Hull, Newcastle and the North East.

Dyan Crowther, Network Rail's route managing director, said: "Britain relies on rail and with demand for rail travel increasing it's essential we invest to provide a better service for passengers with more trains, additional seats and fewer delays."

Network Rail is expected to submit more detailed plans to the Planning Inspectorate next summer.

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