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The Queen officially reopens Birmingham New Street in first visit to station

The Queen has officially reopened the recently transformed Birmingham New Street, marking her first visit to the station in her 62-year reign and first visit to the city since her Diamond Jubilee tour three years ago.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Network Rail’s chair and chief executive, Sir Peter Hendy and Mark Carne, greeted her at the site after she arrived on the Royal Train today (19 November).

The Network Rail bosses showed the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh around an exhibition of the station ‘through the ages’ since it was first built in the 1880s, as well as introduced them to many of those involved in the station’s latest rebuild and daily services.

Birmingham New Street at dusk

Her visit, broadcast on the large ‘media eye’ at the front of the station, follows the station’s opening in September after a massive £750m five-year project closely monitored by RTM.

Yesterday’s opening ceremony, hosted on the station’s concourse under its vast atrium, boasted speeches from Hendy and Birmingham mayor Cllr Ray Hassal, as well as the unveiling of the Queen’s special opening plaque.

Hendy said: “It was an honour to welcome the Queen to Birmingham New Street and be part of a very special day for Birmingham. For such an impressive and transformed station, it was fitting that it was officially reopened by Her Majesty.

“Birmingham New Street is helping to boost the regeneration of the city centre as well as provide the millions of passengers who use if with a modern, 21st century station. With the Grand Central development above it, it is a unique station which is vital to the continued development of Birmingham and the wider region.”

Chris Montgomery, Network Rail’s project director who oversaw the station’s redevelopment, interviewed by RTM following the programme’s completion, said the Queen’s visit marked the culmination of many years of hard work by the thousands of people involved in the project.

The new and modernised station boasts an iconic atrium over a large passenger concourse five times the size of London Euston’s, as well as brighter platforms, improved entrances, new facilities and a lot more of natural light.


Lutz   21/11/2015 at 12:50

... and including full integration with HS2 ... oh.

GW   21/11/2015 at 21:12

£750 million on a shopping centre and still leaving one of the worst major stations in Britain. Go below ground and it still struggles to cope with people getting on and off trains.

Splinter   02/12/2015 at 07:42

Personal experience in the last few days leaves me with the impression that it is a total waste of money. Exit from platform to concourse brings the passenger to an area which lacks signs and is filled with "lost" passengers. I shall continue to avoid to avoid New Street and change at Stafford, Wolverhampton or ANYWHERE!

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