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TIN news:   UK rail infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR) has started excavation work as part of its project to build the new Ordsall Chord between Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly stations.
The work will be carried out between Trinity Way and the River Irwell as the foundations for the Chord.
According to NR, works have been planned to cause the least possible disruption, with all four lanes of Trinity Way remaining open and will have a 20mph speed restriction on the ring road for safety reasons.
The project is a major component of the £600m Northern Hub programme, which will allow the operation of 700 more trains a day in northern England.
The Ordsall Chord is being built as part of NR's £1bn improvements planned across the north of England under the Railway Upgrade Plan.
"The creation of the Ordsall Chord will bring many benefits to the city and the north of England."
Following completion next year, the Ordsall Chord will deliver a more reliable, faster and efficient railway to the millions of passengers who travel by train every year.
Network Rail route delivery director Nick Spall said: "The road will remain open as much as possible, but to allow cranes and equipment to be moved safely across Trinity Way, there may be a need for overnight closures but motorists will be given advanced warning.
"The creation of the Ordsall Chord will bring many benefits to the city and the north of England. Not only will it link the major stations within Manchester but will help support delivery of faster trains linking Manchester Victoria and Liverpool, as well as improving journey times to Liverpool, Leeds and the north-east."
The works will be carried out as part of a joint effort between Network Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), in addition to Manchester and Salford city councils.
TfGM chair Andrew Fender said: "The Ordsall Chord project, which will incorporate a major redevelopment of Salford Central, is a significant programme of works that, along with the rest of the North of England Programme, will revolutionise rail travel throughout our region.
"I want to reassure commuters and local residents that TfGM has been, and will continue, to work closely with Network Rail and Manchester and Salford City Council to minimise disruption along Trinity Way and surrounding areas, and maintaining four lanes to traffic for the duration of the project should go some way to ensuring that."
The project was previously challenged by former president of the Institute of Civil Engineers Mark Whitby on two statutory grounds of the Transport and Works Act order, one of the Listed Building Consent and a judicial review of the planning permission.
Last October, NR secured approval to build the £85m Ordsall Chord rail link, after a judge dismissed a legal challenge to the project.
It is reported that the next appeal hearing related to the stalled legal challenge against the Chord is scheduled to be heard by 4 March.

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