Published at 17:23 on Monday 16th January 2017
Tags: Manchester Piccadilly, Network Rail, Northern Hub

While the Ordsall Chord is dominating headlines over the benefits of linking Victoria, Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations in Manchester, it is all part of a bigger scheme to improve travel times.

The aim is that by allowing services from Piccadilly to traverse the west side of the city and link Victoria, not only will commuter flows across Manchester be improved, but some services that currently reverse in Piccadilly’s terminus platforms could be re-routed, saving time. This all depends on additional platforms being constructed to provide extra capacity on the through lines however. The station at Piccadilly currently has two through Platforms, Nos 13 and 14, and Network Rail has put forward plans for the new platforms to be built on the west side of the station, and the project would also include lengthening platforms at Oxford Road and removing the current bay platform, thereby creating eight additional paths an hour in each direction. Originally due to start last year and be completed in 2018, the project is awaiting the outcome of its Transport and Works Act order, but a statement from Network Rail Chief Executive, Mark Carne, said that once the decision from the Secretary of State for Transport is known, the organisation “will look again at the cost-benefit ratio” potentially signalling that the work could be delayed or cancelled.

Other projects as part of the ‘Northern Hub’ have also been affected with electrification from Victoria to Stalybridge delayed, having been due for completion in December. The problem revolves around ensuring the power supply for the OHL can support additional electric services in the area.

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