Passengers travelling into Manchester on the train in the run-up to Christmas will face weekend disruption due to work on a major rail project.
Network Rail has confirmed services from the borough will be affected from this weekend due to work on the Ordsall Chord.
Connecting Manchester’s two main stations removes a pinch-point on the rail network that has existed for more than 100 years.Martin Frobisher, Network Rail
Passengers are advised to check online before travelling, with the changes potentially creating issues for people wishing to visit the city centre for Christmas shopping or the famous festive markets.
Trains coming through the borough will largely stop at Victoria rather than the airport, but transport bosses urged people not to be put off.
The Chord, part of a £1bn programme of investment in the North’s railways, will link Victoria and Piccadilly stations for the first time with a new 300m section of track being created.
Transport bosses accepted passengers will suffer inconvenience over the next few weeks due to the building but stressed there will be massive long-term benefits.
Network Rail route managing director Martin Frobisher said: “While I recognise the short-term pain of timetable impacts as we build the Ordsall Chord, I would urge people to keep sight of the long-term gain this scheme will bring them.
“Connecting Manchester’s two main stations removes a pinch-point on the rail network that has existed for more than 100 years.
“This will improve train travel not just for people in Manchester itself but for passengers across whole of the north of England.”
Transport for Greater Manchester’s head of rail Amanda White said: “The construction of the Ordsall Chord is absolutely critical to an improved rail network in and around Greater Manchester.
“This is a major infrastructure development that will provide more capacity and better reliability for customers across the region.”
Services will be affected at weekends from this Saturday until Sunday, December 11 and also between the early-morning trains on Sunday, December 18 and the last service on Monday, January 2.
Oxford Road and Deansgate stations will also be affected, closing on December 27 and New Year’s Eve as well as New Year’s Day and January 2.
Passengers are advised to plan journeys before setting off by visiting the website www.nationalrail.co.uk