Monday 26 Apr 2021
Birmingham New Street platform changes during signalling overhaul
Passengers at Birmingham New Street are being urged to check their platforms throughout 2021 while major signalling upgrades take place to improve future journeys.
A rolling programme of platform closures started in January so signalling equipment at the country's busiest station outside of London can be completely overhauled.
From Sunday 25 April platform 10 is closed to passengers. Meanwhile work to platform 11 is complete so it's now back in use.
Signalling is the complex system which keeps trains moving safely around the network.
Most of the equipment in use at Birmingham New Street is around 54 years old and is reaching the end of its working life.
Over the next 14 months modern signalling equipment is being installed to provide more reliable journeys for passengers.
Passengers using Birmingham New Street are being urged to be aware of the signalling upgrade and its impact.
Dave Penney, Central route director for Network Rail, said: “While passengers are following Government advice to minimise travel, it is fantastic to see more people returning to the railway and we want to make journeys as easy as possible while this major signalling upgrade takes place.
“I’d urge those travelling to through Birmingham New Street to always check which platform your train is on as this can change at short notice over the course of the rolling platform closures.
“This once in a generation overhaul of the station’s signalling equipment, at one of Britain’s most important stations, has been carefully planned to minimise disruption. Once complete, the West Midlands will have large areas using one of the most modern signalling systems anywhere in Britain which will help provide a safe, reliable and high performing railway for decades to come.”
Trains may not arrive at or leave from their usual platform depending on which one is closed for the essential upgrade work.
Train timetables won't be impacted by the resignalling project. However it will affect all of Birmingham New Street's train operators which are:
- West Midlands Railway
- London Northwestern Railway
- Avanti West Coast
- Transport for Wales
Extra staff will be on hand to help passengers during the work and there will be more signs to help people find their way.
Information about which platform is closed and which platforms trains will use will be available across the station and on journey planning websites such as www.nationalrail.co.uk to help passengers get to where they need to go.
Alex Warner, chairperson of the Grand Rail Collaboration, representing train operators which use Birmingham New Street, said: “A key part of delivering for passengers is for train services to be reliable and with capacity for growth. A modern signalling system is essential in delivering this.
“This investment is vital for the long-term future of the railway in the West Midlands. In the short-term, the most important thing this to manage the impact and the fact no trains will be cancelled is great news for passengers.”
Malcolm Holmes, executive director for West Midlands Rail Executive, said: “Birmingham New Street is at the centre of the West Midlands rail network and it needs the best technology to keep passengers and trains safely moving for many years to come. The industry has worked together to run a full timetable throughout this work, minimising disruption. The outcome will be a better, more reliable railway for the region.”
This is the final piece of a signalling jigsaw which has seen upgrades across the wider West Midlands region since 2005.
The Birmingham New Street upgrade links in with work to modernise the routes to and from the station– including to Bromsgrove, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Tamworth.
During the work people can follow @NetworkRailBHM on Twitter for the latest updates.
Notes to Editors
The improvements, which are part of Network Rail’s Putting Passengers First commitment, will ensure the railway continues to be safe and reliable for passengers and plays a key role in the recovery and growth of the West Midland’s economy.
Once completed, the New Street project will have seen more than 95 separate stages of work completed during more than 750,000 hours of work.
A total of 114 signals will have been installed using more than 6.5 miles of cable.
Passengers can plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator.
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.