Latest Rail News

14.11.16

Virgin Trains unveils futuristic changes at Birmingham International

Virgin Trains has unveiled its new-look Birmingham International station, calling the transformed open-plan station its vision for ‘stations of the future’.

An investment of over £1m has transformed the station’s ticketing area, replacing the traditional booking office window with a welcome desk complete with user-friendly ‘service pods’.

Other features of the revamp include a greater staff presence on the station concourse, the introduction of wireless charging for customer devices, free wi-fi and refurbished toilet facilities. 

“We’ve never been afraid to challenge traditional thinking,” said Natasha Grice, Virgin Trains general manager for the West Midlands route. “We are committed to innovation and the ‘Station of the Future’ project is just another example, coming on the back of the launch of Beam, our free onboard content service, the introduction of Automatic Delay Repay and the roll out of m-tickets including our new web to wallet facility.”

“More importantly these changes are being driven by our customers. In the last year alone we’ve seen a fivefold increase in the number of customers using paperless tickets. More and more are now arriving at the station having bought their tickets.”

Simon Greaves, Virgin Trains station manager at Birmingham international, praised the station’s smaller reliance on a traditional booking office.

As part of the greater staff presence on the station concourse, more staff will walk the floor carrying tablets to assist passengers with onward travel requests.

“With the support of our team at International, this new approach is about how we make the best use of our people, backed by the very latest in new technology for the benefit of our customers,” Greaves said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for them.”

The new concourse was officially launched by the Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, who revealed her delight in being invited to re-open the station in her constituency of Meriden. She also expressed her hopes that the improved facilities would encourage more people to travel by rail.

“Virgin Trains has a strong reputation for providing its customers with an outstanding service, and I am delighted to welcome further investment in this important regional transport hub,” she said.

The revamp of Birmingham International was made possible due to the support of a number of local businesses including architects AHR, Overbury and Infotec. The global construction firm Mace were in charge of the overall project management.

Over six and a half million journeys are made to and from Birmingham International each year. The falling number of transactions made at the station’s ticket office suggested the need for the station’s new approach, having dropped from 50% to 40% over the past two years.

 Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

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

NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

18/10/2019NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

Switch up your playlist with the first #WeAreRTM podcast, gain exclusive insight into the leaders running the rail industry their opinions on recent headlines, visions for the future and meet the personalities behind the job titles. It's no... 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 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 >