Network Rail has entered into a construction partnership with Amey, Skanska, BAM Nuttall and Siemens to build the Ordsall Chord in Manchester.
The controversial link will connect Manchester’s two main railway stations, unlocking capacity in the city.
Today’s announcement follows a decision last week by the Court of Appeal to drop a legal challenge brought by Mark Whitby, who was originally brought in to work on design options for the project, over concerns about the damage the project will do to the existing grade II listed bridges.
Mike Heywood, from Network Rail and manager of the alliance, said: “This is an exciting time for passengers, businesses and the rail industry in the north of England. A better railway supports jobs, housing and economic growth and the new Ordsall Chord has a massive role to play in opening up new and faster journeys.
“Within this alliance of organisations, we have a wide range of skills and experience to make this vital new stretch of railway a reality and deliver the service all rail passengers deserve.”
The partnership contract will run until 2019.