Monday 29 Apr 2013
Birmingham welcomes its new New Street station
- Region & Route:
More than three years in the making, the first half of the new concourse at Birmingham New Street station has opened to passengers, marking the completion of the first phase of the project to transform the station.
A team of over a thousand staff have been on site working around the clock to create the new station, which is already one-and-a-half times larger than the old concourse, offering passengers a better environment and experience for their journey.
The first week of opening will see an army of volunteers from Network Rail and train operators located around the station, helping passengers find their way to, from and around the new concourse as they adjust to their new surroundings.
Dyan Crowther, Network Rail route managing director, said: “Birmingham New Street is the busiest interchange station on Britain’s rail network and with this new concourse it’s finally getting the facilities that it needs and deserves.
"We are delighted to welcome passengers into their new station. It’s bigger and brighter with much better access to all platforms, making getting around the station easier for everyone.”
This is the first major change to New Street in over 40 years, with the station being named as one of the most hated buildings in the country in more recent years. The opening marks a significant milestone in the overall redevelopment, with people using the station now having somewhere to be proud of as the gateway to the city and the West Midlands.
Notes to editors
The redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station and the Pallasades Shopping Centre is backed by Birmingham City Council, Network Rail, Department for Transport, Centro and Advantage West Midlands.
Network Rail is delivering the project alongside its delivery partner Mace.
Upon completion in 2015, the project will deliver:
- Space to accommodate passenger growth: the new concourse will be three and a half times bigger than at present and will be enclosed by a giant atrium which will flood the station concourse and shopping centre with natural light.
- Better access for all: over 30 new escalators and 15 new public lifts will make it much easier to travel between the platforms and the concourse above.
- Cutting edge design: a stunning new station façade will create a new landmark building in the heart of Birmingham.
- A revitalized city centre: the new Grand Central Birmingham anchored by the John Lewis department store will offer new retail brands alongside quality places to eat and drink, cementing Birmingham’s reputation as one of the UK’s top retail destinations.
- Regeneration and economic growth: new pedestrian links will open up the city centre, stimulating regeneration and creating new jobs. We’re also working to open up job opportunities to the local workforce during construction.
- The station will remain open throughout the redevelopment.
Now the new concourse has opened, the Network Rail & Mace delivery team will turn their attention to redeveloping the old station concourse and the remainder of the Pallasades shopping centre. The centre will be transformed into a new premium fashion and lifestyle shopping destination, Grand Central Birmingham, incorporating a four storey John Lewis, over 40 more shops and more than 15 cafes and restaurants.
Major changes from 28th April include:
- The existing vehicle and pedestrian entrance outside the front of the station on Smallbrook Queensway have closed, with vehicle access moving across to a new drop off area and short stay car park located off Hill Street
- Passengers travelling from Moor Street station and pedestrians on Smallbrook Queensway will be able to access the new concourse via the new Moor Street link pedestrian walkway which links the east side of the station to the new entrance on Stephenson Street.
- Passengers can still access the station from Pallasades and Bullring through a new set of escalators which link the shopping centre above down to the new concourse.
- The Victoria Square entrance on Navigation Street will close to passengers as new entrances now open onto Stephenson Street and Hill Street
- The station taxi rank has temporarily moved to Navigation Street
Over the last thirty years there has been a substantial shift in the structure of the UK economy, with many businesses providing services located in city centres, ensuring better access to skilled labour, key markets and suppliers as well as strong connectivity with other parts of the country. As a consequence, larger cities such as Birmingham, the UK’s second city, have experienced significant increases in city centre employment. Further rail growth is forecast to continue to increase substantially, and accommodating additional demand will be essential if sustainable, city-led economic development is to continue. Nationally, one million more trains run every year than 10 years ago with the railway carrying 50% more passengers. Station redevelopments like Birmingham New Street are vital to cope with this demand and allow the economy to develop further, as well as putting Birmingham on the map as part of UK growth.
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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.