First trains to run over the Ordsall Chord in Manchester
Credit: BBC

Northern welcomed customers aboard the first trains to cross the Ordsall Chord bridge in Manchester yesterday, Sunday 10th December.

The historic bridge is a centerpiece of the Great North Rail Project. The bridge connects north and south Manchester together.

It will enable passengers to travel from West Yorkshire to travel through the Calder Valley to Manchester Oxford Road directly.

From May 2018, passengers will benefit from services running from the East Coast to Manchester Airport via Manchester Victoria.

What did the officials say?

Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “This is a historic day for the north and for rail travel in the UK because Manchester’s three main stations are linked for the first time. The Ordsall Chord will help to support faster, more flexible journeys for passengers across the region. It’s a key part of the Great North Rail Project, which will increase direct rail links between Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and other cities in the north.”

David Brown, Managing Director at Northern; said: “The Ordsall Chord is now an iconic part of the railway in the north of England – as well as the Manchester skyline – and is tangible evidence of the Great North Rail Project and the rail industry working together. It’s fantastic that our customers are now able to cross the city by rail and we look forward to the extension of these services from Bradford through to Manchester Airport. Sunday 10 December will be a day to remember for rail travel in the north of England and we at Northern are honored that our services will be the first to use the Chord.”

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Seeing the first train cross the Ordsall Chord is an extremely proud moment for me and for the hundreds of men and women who have worked incredibly hard to build it. It is the centerpiece of the Great North Rail Project, which is helping transform train travel for people across the North right now and for generations to come.”

Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.


  1. I am the editor of the Magazine of The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society. Can I use your image of the first train running along the Ordsall Chord? If so, to whom should I credit the photo? I like your site, by the way; I just came across it by searching Google images. Regards, Martin Nield

    • Thank you for your kind comments on the site. Yes, you can use the image. The image was taken from the BBC website and you should credit them for it




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