Ordsall Chord: #surprisingsalford #31

Ship Canal Nov 2017 (12)
The Ordsall Chord bridge from below

It isn’t often that Ordsall in Salford is mentioned in the Chancellors budget!  In 2011 I was only half listening to the Chancellors statement on the radio but my ears pricked up when he proposed funding the construction of the Ordsall Chord.  What was the Ordsall Chord and what sort of musical instrument would need government support?  As we live near to Ordsall in Salford I investigated further and discovered this was a much needed railway project joining two Manchester railway stations; Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria.  The Ordsall Chord takes a curved route around the city centre, skirting the boundary of Ordsall, hence its name.

As with many railway projects nothing happened for a long time but eventually construction work started.  I watched the new line taking shape through 2016 and was excited to see the bridge over the Irwell erected [watch the video] and the completion of the project at the end of 2017.  This arched bridge is a stunning addition to the local skyline and is a thing of beauty.  The weathering steel of the bridge over the River Irwell gives it an attractive rusty appearance as well as being practical.

In December 2017 the Ordsall Chord opened for trains, providing that much needed direct link between the two stations.  On my Waxi trip along the canal we sailed under the bridge but I couldn’t wait to take my own trip on this new bit of railway line.  In January this year we used a trip to Bradford as an excuse to take a trip along the Ordsall Chord.

This work has also revealed the historic stone bridge or viaduct built by George Stephenson in 1830 for the Liverpool to Manchester railwayline.  This elegant bridge is being restored and will be part of the public space around the Ordsall Chord.  I for one am looking forward to this part of the project being completed.

2018 Jan Salford Chord (2)
Crossing the Ordsall Chord from a moving train