Detailed designs for Manchester’s Ordsall Chord project were unveiled in front of councillors and business leaders earlier this week.

At an event in the Museum of Science and Industry, new designs for a scheme to connect Manchester’s Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria stations, were unveiled ahead of this week’s public consultation.

The first part of the Northern Hub programme is designed to help ease a rail bottleneck to the south of Piccadilly station and enable more trains to travel through Manchester Victoria.

The project would allow additional train services between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester and a new direct service through Manchester city centre to Manchester Airport.

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 in the railway to provide a better service for passengers with more trains, additional seats and fewer delays.

“We thank those who have already made a valuable contribution to the development of this vital project. Feedback from last year’s consultation suggests that the overwhelming majority of people support our plans to deliver faster, more frequent services across the North and helping stimulate low carbon economic growth.”

As part of the scheme, two potential bridge options have been unveiled for consultation, including a bow string railway arch and an alternative flat bridge.

The plans were first released for consultation last year and feedback showed around 84 per cent of respondents felt is was important to connect Manchester’s key railway stations. Network Rail has now developed more detailed plans and is asking for feedback before submitting an application to the Planning Inspectorate next summer.

The plans are available to view on

If the scheme is approved, work will start in late 2014 and is expected to be completed in late 2016.