Latest Rail News


Birmingham New Street revamp hit by escalator setback

Thirty-one newly installed escalators at Birmingham New Street station need a faulty part replacing, it has emerged, five months before the £600m revamp is fully unveiled.

A fault was discovered on the chain of eight of the new escalators causing them to break down. Six of these have already been fixed while two remain out of operation for repairs.

Network Rail has confirmed to RTM that the remaining 23 are currently all operational but will have the faulty part replaced as a precautionary measure. However there is not expected to be any disturbance to passengers as the replacement work will take place at night over the coming months.

A Network Rail spokesman said the manufacturer was bearing the cost of the repairs.

He added: “There’s a manufacturing fault with a part – the chain that runs the length of the escalator and pulls the stairs up and down.

“It’s not costing any public money, although it is frustrating for us and passengers.”

In a letter to the Birmingham Mail, station manager Steve Lewis has previously apologised for the unreliability of the escalators.

He wrote: “Nobody is more frustrated than me and the project team with the reliability of the new escalators in the station and I am sincerely sorry to all those who have experienced this first hand.

“Thankfully we have unearthed the underlying design issue with the escalators which the manufacturer is putting right.

“These faulty components are now being replaced, escalator by escalator with the escalators currently out of service being fixed by the end of the first week in May and a programme for the rest running through until September.

“Once again, I would like to apologise to all those who have been affected by the unacceptable reliability of the escalators.

“Our teams are fully focussed on getting this sorted as quickly as possible and continue with the huge task of transforming Birmingham New Street into a station of which we can all be proud.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' 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... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


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 would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... 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 the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >