Latest Rail News

28.04.15

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.”

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