Comment

31.05.19

Birmingham Moor Street vision embraces the future and celebrates the past

Source: RTM Apr/May 2019

Maria Machancoses, director of Midlands Connect, looks forward to what the Birmingham Moor Street's redevelopment will mean for the region.

Over the years, many of Birmingham’s beautiful, historic buildings have been lost to the bulldozers. 

New Street and Snow Hill stations were, until the 1960s, fine examples of classic Victorian architecture, with ornate facades and grand vaulted roofs.  Both were demolished to make way for modern replacements that were never going to win any beauty contests.

The city’s third main train station – Moor Street – was first opened in 1909 and is the only one to have retained its original construction. Since its sympathetic restoration in 2002, passengers have grown to love its bygone charm, and the building is rightly Grade II listed.

No one wants to lose the affinity we’ve developed with the station, but passenger numbers are growing quickly, and with an iconic new HS2 station taking shape metres from the Moor Street concourse, we need a respectful plan to marry the old with the new, without losing the heritage we all love.

With a nod to the past, but with a firm eye on the future, the Moor Street vision was born. Developed through multi-agency collaboration, the concepts are designed to increase capacity, link seamlessly with the under-construction Curzon Street and nearby New Street stations through a “One Station” approach, and open the station up to the south of the city towards Digbeth, one of the UK’s fastest developing neighbourhoods.

Led by West Midlands Rail Executive alongside Midlands Connect, Transport for West Midlands, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd, Chiltern Railways, West Midlands Railway and Birmingham City Council, we all have our own reasons for driving this vision forward, but the end goal is the same: we want to create a Moor Street station that is fit for the future.

The current station concourse covers 910m2 – seven times smaller than the average football pitch. It carries seven million passengers every year, and that’s predicted to grow to at least 12 million by 2043 as commuter rail travel becomes increasingly popular.

Numbers could swell further when Midlands Connect’s flagship Midlands Rail Hub plan is realised, bringing 20 more trains an hour in to Birmingham from across the region. Our proposals will enable faster and more frequent services to and from Hereford, Worcester, the south west and the East Midlands, addressing the long-ignored issue of poor east-west rail connectivity.

Moor Street’s current size can’t support this projected growth. The vision – including designs from world-leading architects Grimshaw and Glenn Howells (who also designed the HS2 Curzon Street plans) – proposes a doubling of the concourse footprint, with a new transfer deck to access platforms, a bridge to Curzon Street, a new southern entrance to reduce overcrowding, and two more platforms to allow for extra train services.

Moor Street’s redevelopment will be transformational, but the extra train services can only arrive in to the station with associated upgrades to the tracks. The Midlands Rail Hub proposes interventions including new track and passing places, minor electrification, improved junctions and signalling, both within Birmingham and across the surrounding network. 

As with all redevelopment plans, we have work to do to turn the vision in to reality. Further feasibility and funding options need to be explored, and complementary track upgrades must also be secured.

One thing we do have is a clear timescale to work towards. Curzon Street will open to HS2 services in 2026, and at least eight major housing, retail and commercial developments are taking shape within a kilometre of Moor Street. The time to take action is now.

With New Street and Curzon Street, Birmingham has put its train stations at the centre of the city’s unprecedented regeneration. Moor Street has a great opportunity to join them, and play a part in Birmingham’s future, as well as its past.

Join Maria Machancoses at TransCityRail Midlands this July >>

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

The next generation of rail infrastructure

11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

How the rail industry delivers the next gener... more >
Putting passengers first

11/09/2019Putting passengers first

How does the rail industry design the railway... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Year with brand-new infrastructrure to... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail at our exclusive 'Network Rail Meet the Buyers Hub'.  Situated at the heart of the event ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >