Network Rail starts work on New Street’s east entrance

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A project to redevelop Birmingham New Street station has moved its focus to renovating the hub’s east side and old entrance following the opening of the new concourse earlier this year.

Following completion of Phase 1 in April, attention turned to the existing 1960’s station and construction of the 250,000 sq ft John Lewis department store.

The £750 million Gateway Project has been described by project partners Mace and Network Rail as ‘the biggest refurbishment project in Europe’.

Chris Montgomery, Network Rail project director said: “Our work outside New Street station will contribute towards the creation of a world class transport hub for Birmingham that’s fit for the 21st century.

“The stainless steel façade will completely transform the tired, old exterior into a stunning modern building that is already taking shape on the north side of the station, adding to the city’s growing reputation for good design.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. It’s funded through grants from central government and local council tax payers through CENTRO – it may be a beautiful building and a fantastic retail space, but the refurb does nothing to address the crippling congestion through the station and there is no investment money to update the decrepit signalling infrastructure around the station that makes travelling through New St such a chore.

    Schemes such as this call into question the priorities of Network Rail, clearly they now have an incentive to keep people in the station to maximise rental income rather than providing a speedy rail service fit for the 21st century.

    The Stainless steel façade may never rust, but it hasn’t been treated with a self-cleaning finish and is already streaked and grubby from the dusty smoky atmosphere around Birmingham New St station.

  2. This modernisation is primarily a cosmetic makeover. It will improve passenger circulation and permit swifter movement between trains as New St is the most important interchange station in the UK. For some passengers unfamiliar with the vicissitudes of train travel. There are still serious criticisms of train information and most importantly, as mentioned in the post by graememulvaney i does nothing to enhance capacity to relieve congestion at track level. There were opportunities to introduce two extra bays, 12c and 12d for termination of short trains up to three coaches, and realign two tracks through the centre of the station, i.e. between 7 and 8, to provide at least one, possibly two, 4-car bay platforms.
    This is primarily a commercial revamp, tinkering at the edges to improve passenger circulation. It also encourages passengers to spend more time wandering around the enlarged concourse to ‘take advantage of commercial opportunities’ buying expensive cappucinos and croissants as they are now in the controlled ticket only area! Good commercial wheeze Network Rail!
    A ggod idea would be a major revamp at Walsall, to terminate one Pendolino per hour there, and provide an extra 6-car bay at International on the south side, a new down bay platform 1A, losing about 30-40 car parking spaces, and a new up platform 6 to permit more trains to terminate or pass.
    It is no use waiting for HS2, these upgrades need doing NOW.

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