From Thursday 24 March 2016 to 3 April, Manchester Victoria and Salford Central train stations will be closed to enable vital rail improvements, Network Rail announced.
The 11-day closure of two of Manchester’s busy railway stations is beginning over the Easter weekend just when thousands of commuters will be travelling across the country for the break.
According to Network Rail, the work – part of over £1bn of railway improvements by Network Rail in the north – means that the two stations will reopen on Monday 4 April.
While no services will run in and out of Salford Central and Manchester Victoria for 11 days, alternative stations will be available, such as Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road.
Work on the Ordsall Chord which will link Piccadilly train station and Victoria train station will begin during the Easter break.
Engineers will be moving existing track on the approach to Manchester Victoria station so when the 300 metre-long new section of track has been completed, it will be able to connect and fit in with the new track layout.
The route managing director for Network Rail, Martin Frobisher said: “I recognise this work will cause disruption for passengers. But I would urge people to view this short-term pain against the long-term gain it will help achieve for Manchester and people and businesses across the North of England.
“The Ordsall Chord will bring better connectivity and faster journeys between the great cities of the North, including Hull, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester”.
Network Rail has been carrying out preparatory work for a number of weeks on overhead lines, waterproofing and signalling without affecting passenger services.
The Ordsall Chord is a key part of Network Rail’s investment in the North of England. It will create a piece of ‘railway history’ by linking both Victoria and Piccadilly stations for the first time, as well as reducing congestion on the railway.
Trains will still run to other stations within the city with some services being diverted to Manchester Piccadilly.
Trams will continue to run to Manchester Victoria during this time. Bus replacements will also be made available, however commuters are being urged to check before they travel.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The Ordsall Chord is a vital part of the rail improvements, which will bring significant improvements to rail services across the North West, providing extra capacity to support thousands of additional freight journeys and enabling millions more passengers to travel across the region each day”.