Latest Rail News

26.04.13

Birmingham New Street ready for switchover

There are just two days to go until the half-time switchover for Birmingham New Street. From Sunday April 28, the new concourse and three new entrances will be open to passengers and the old station will close for redevelopment.

The project, led by Network Rail and Mace, will completely transform the station. The approach of working in two halves is allowing the station to remain operational throughout construction, with the whole station due for completion in 2015.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The opening of the western concourse is a key milestone for the New Street project and gives the public a real view of how the redevelopment is progressing.

“When I visited the works at the end of February I was very impressed – the transformation of the site is giving the West Midlands the fantastic travel hub it deserves as well as opening up this part of the city centre to pedestrians.

“The regeneration potential of this £600m development is plain to see and I am pleased that Government funding is being put to good use.”

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It has been a tremendous feat of engineering and logistics to keep one half of New Street station operating pretty much as normal for passengers travelling in and out of the city; and I have every confidence that we will see the same smooth running on the other side after the switchover happens this weekend.”

Cllr Roger Horton, Centro’s lead member for transforming rail travel, added: “The transformation of New Street Station is only at its half way stage and many exciting elements, such as the giant glass atrium, are still to come. Nevertheless this new modern concourse with platforms served by new escalators and lifts will bring real benefits for the thousands of passengers using it each day.”

Chris Montgomery, Network Rail’s project director, said: “The first half of the new concourse will be bigger, brighter and better than the old station, with new escalators and lifts also providing better access. With two days to go, we’re busy making final preparations to welcome passengers into the first of their new station – then, we’ll turn our attention to rebuilding the other side. By switching off the old station and opening the first half of the new concourse next door, we can keep passengers moving through New Street while keeping the station open.”

For more on the Birmingham New Street project, see the April/May edition of RTM, where we speak to Mark Bennett about the switchover.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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