UK Construction Media

Ordsall Chord nears completion following cascade placement

News   •   Aug 23, 2017 08:10 BST

The Ordsall Chord – a brand new railway linking Manchester’s main stations – is a step closer today, following the installation of an “eye-catching” steel cascade.

Having hoisted the 40 tonne cascade into position, the final piece of the UK’s first network arch bridge is now complete. Time lapse footage of the installation has since been released by Skanska-BAM Nuttall, the joint venture organisation responsible for the Ordsall Chord.

Work to boost rail connectivity in the North continues at a feverish pace. Ballast and track will now be laid atop the 1,600 tonne bridge, while a raft of rail, signalling and overhead equipment has yet to be installed. But the laying of the last cascade signifies that the end is in sight, and brings to a close one of the projects most iconic elements.

Keith Gardner, Project Director at Skanska, explains more: “This is a significant milestone on the project that will not only transform connectivity in the North, but also across the Manchester skyline as the visually striking cascades are lifted into place. This piece of work brings us another step closer to opening a vital link that will improve rail journeys for people across the region.”

And Allan Parker, Programme Manager for Network Rail, had this to say: “The installation of the cascades completes the final and unique steel ribbon-effect which runs along the outside of the network arch bridge. We’ve reached yet another major milestone in the project and I would like to thank all the teams who have played an integral role in making this happen. We are a step closer to providing the infrastructure for more frequent trains and better connections, not only within the city, but the North of England.”

The Ordsall Chord falls under Network Rail’s £1Bn+ Great North Rail Project, which forms part of the national Railway Upgrade Plan. It is due to be completed by December 2017.