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Northern Hub

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Northern Hub

  • Ordsall Chord network arch bridge.  credit: Matthew Nichol
  • Ordsall Chord network arch bridge. CGI credit: Network Rail.

A Skanska-BAM Nuttall joint venture was appointed as an alliance partner and awarded a contract to deliver the Ordsall Chord project. The project is part of Network Rail’s £1bn+ rail upgrade plan for the North of England.

Boosting economic growth in the North of England

The project will increase connectivity across towns and cities and enable the government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative to boost economic growth in the North of the country.

The project includes construction of key structures in Manchester city centre. This work will help ease a rail bottleneck to the north of Piccadilly station. This will enable faster, more frequent services to run across the North of England.

It forms part of the Northern Hub project to improve railway services across Northern England.

Collaborative experience

This scheme began with an early contractor involvement phase. During the delivery stage, contractors will draw on the collaborative experience of each of the partners, using building information modeling technology to bring whole-life costing and carbon foot-printing considerations to the whole project.

The key features of the project are:

  • the Ordsall Chord will link both Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly stations for the first time and provide improved links within the city and the North of England
  • new, direct links will be created to Manchester Airport, making it more accessible to people across the region
  • as part of Network Rail’s wider £1bn+ railway upgrade plan, the chord will help reduce congestion on the railway at Manchester Piccadilly by re-routing some services through Victoria. This will create extra capacity, allowing more trains to run
  • the viaduct will link with St John’s Quarter, a 15-acre development site with offices, homes and hotels in Manchester city centre, with an estimated value of £135 million. It will also link Middlewood locks, a 24-acre new development for homes and commercial businesses in Salford.


Service: Construction
Mark segment: Railways
Start date: 2016
Completion date: 2017
Clients: Network Rail
Country: United Kingdom
City: Manchester
Project status: Ongoing



CEEQUAL Awards 2018
'Excellent' Whole Team Award for the sustainable delivery of Ordsall Chord rail project
North West Awards 2018 Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE)
Northern Hub Alliance winner of North West Large Project Award for Ordsall Chord Bridge
British Construction Industry Awards 2018
Project of the Year - Winner - Chapel Street Bridge upgrade, Salford - SkanskaBAM JV - Network Rail