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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Birmingham’s Cross-City line ‘one of the most accessible in the country’

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Improvements at Sutton Coldfield station have ensured Birmingham’s Cross-City line remains one of the most accessible rail routes in the country.

With its new lifts and upgraded footbridge, Sutton Coldfield will become the nineteenth out of 24 stations on the route to be equipped for step-free access, and work is already under way at two more at Selly Oak and Northfield.

Network Rail has been responsible for delivering the £2m project at Sutton Coldfield.

Local MP Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, was given a tour of the improvements which are now in their final stages.

Gary Tordoff, Network Rail’s route enhancement manager, said:

“These improvements make Sutton Coldfield station fully accessible to the local community. It is part of a wider programme of improvements being made at stations along this line which make it one of the most accessible in the country.

“The station was built in 1862 and is locally listed so we had to work closely with the planning authority and London Midland over the design.

“This demonstrates what can be achieved by combining old with new and we hope will encourage more people to use the railway.”

Nicola Moss, London Midland’s head of franchise management said:

“We are very pleased with the improvements at Sutton Coldfield station. The fully accessible facilities will really help our customers at this popular station.

“The £2m investment and collaborative working with our partners at the DfT and Network Rail is part of an ongoing commitment to providing step free access and accessible rail travel for customers on this route.”

Cllr Tom Ansell, lead member for rail and metro on Centro, the region’s transport authority, said:

“Sutton is a key station on the Cross City line and with demand for rail travel continuing to rise year on year this work is great news for passengers. It will make it much easier for anyone to go by train from Sutton.”

The station now boasts glass-clad lifts linked by a bridge serving both platforms. To get from the lifts onto the platforms, Network Rail created new entrances by removing brick walls at platform level.

The original bridge between the platforms was replaced by a new structure. Much attention was paid to the design as it was a condition of the planning permission that it had to look as close as possible to the original.

The bridge is constructed of steel with glass windows and clad in glass reinforced plastic (GRP), imprinted with a wood grain effect. The flooring has a non-slip GRP surface and there are double-height handrails.

The staircases leading from the bridge onto the platforms have been completely refurbished, with repainted roof girders. They also have new double-height handrails and non-slip GRP stair treads.

Similar work has recently started at Northfield and Selly Oak stations and is expected to be completed next autumn.


  1. I think Patrick Elson should be highly commended for his hard work too. To be honest I’m surprised he wasn’t mentioned personally in this article. Never met a harder working person. He’s my hero really


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