Tuesday 20 Sep 2016
Birmingham New Street station marks one year since its grand reopening
Birmingham New Street this week marks one year since the £750m redevelopment of one of Britain’s busiest railway stations.
The five-year transformation has seen brighter, de-cluttered platforms, improved entrances to all corners of the city centre, a range of new retail facilities and an abundance of natural light provided by a stunning atrium over the huge new concourse.
The station fully opened its doors to passengers on 20 September 2015 - a year ago today - with Grand Central, the shopping and dining hub located above the station, opening a few days later on 24 September.
The investment and transformation, part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, is already delivering significant passenger and wider city benefits. Passenger satisfaction has increased steadily since the redevelopment, reaching 88% at the last survey, the highest the station has ever received. The area around the station is already seeing investment with new bars, shops and restaurants opened and further developments, including a 26-storey hotel near the station’s entrance on the Southside of the city centre, recently being granted planning permission.
Patrick Power, Network Rail's station manager at Birmingham New Street, said: “This has been a fantastic year for Birmingham and our station as a whole. Seeing passengers’ faces when they first walked into the new concourse and station for the first time was a real highlight and that look of surprise and being wowed by what they see still happens as more and more people use the station every day.
“The redevelopment has visibly given our city a lift and we now have a station everyone can be proud of. We continue to do all we can to make it even better so that passengers and visitors to the city get the best possible impression of the railway and Birmingham.”
The new station features around 40 shops at concourse level and above it sits the Grand Central shopping and dining hub which includes one of the largest John Lewis department stores.
One of the defining features of the station is the much improved concourse, roughly the same size as 13 Wimbledon centre courts, which is overlooked by the vast and impressive atrium roof which floods the concourse with natural light.
Birmingham City Council leader, Councillor John Clancy, said: "The dramatic transformation of New Street is a real statement of intent from Birmingham. Exciting things are happening here and the new-look station is now the gateway to a confident city that is very clearly open for business.
"Birmingham has a growing reputation as a destination city for tourists and investors and the transformation of New Street station is playing a key role in our ongoing renaissance."
As originally planned, work continues on the redevelopment of the station's 12 platforms. The last platform to be completed, platform 11, is due to reopen to passengers in mid-October. All platforms will be lighter, brighter and cleaner with more space and better access to lifts and escalators on each.
Work also continues on the southern hub, a new exit-only addition to the station which will provide direct access to Hill Street from the Navigation Street footbridge. This is due to be completed and open to passengers by the end of October.
Birmingham New Street’s first year has seen several high profile events in the last 12 months including the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the city in November 2015 when Her Majesty officially opened the new station.
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.