Latest Rail News


Transformed Birmingham New Street opens its doors

The refurbished Birmingham New Street station has opened its doors to passengers following its £750m transformation. 

Prior to the doors opening yesterday (20 September) RTM was given an exclusive tour of the site, which boasts an iconic atrium over a passenger concourse that is five times the size of London Euston’s. 

During the work an average of 1,000 workers were on site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – increasing to 3,500 in the final months of the project. 

BNS concourse

Over the last five years the team also had to remove tens of thousands of tonnes of concrete and other material to create the space for the new station. And approximately 20,000 sq metres of steel have been used to make up the new façade, installed by Martifer. 

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “Birmingham New Street sits right at the heart of our rail network and the transformation which has taken place here is nothing short of stunning. The station is now bigger, brighter and better able to meet the needs of the growing number of people who use it each day. 

“As Britain’s second city, Birmingham deserves a station of this calibre and, along with Grand Central, the investment we have made will help support the local economy and regenerate large parts of city centre.” 

BNS from top of Rotunda

The new station will feature 43 shops at concourse level and above it sits the new Grand Central shopping complex – due to open on Thursday (24 September). 

Patrick McLoughlin, secretary of state for transport, said: “The transformation of Birmingham New Street is a prime example of how our record investment in the railways is improving journeys for hardworking people and helping to rebalance the economy by driving growth across the country.” 

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, added that New Street station has undergone a “magnificent transformation” to become a vibrant, spacious and bright transport hub suitable for the city, and for the people of Birmingham to be proud of.


Philip Hoare, managing director of Transportation for UK & Europe at Atkins, said: “Over the last seven years Atkins has played a leading role in the design of Birmingham New Street Station and Grand Central, overcoming challenges by applying innovative solutions to successfully deliver the biggest station refurbishment in Europe. The end result is that Birmingham has a stunning gateway that befits its status as the UK’s second largest city.

“The station is a prime example of how to successfully deliver engineering excellence in a complex urban environment and the same principles will apply to major projects in the future including HS2. It is testament to all the teams involved that in delivering the work – including the removal of over 10,000 tonnes of concrete from the site – the station remained open transporting thousands of passengers each day.” 


James Lisney   22/09/2015 at 11:55

What a transformation. Proud to have been part of the supply chain. Infotec, the company I work for, provided the latest batch of passenger information displays designed and manufactured just up the road in Ashby de la Zouch. Good luck to all involved.

Simon   23/09/2015 at 10:14

Not to take away the hard work that those working on the project have done and I would be proud to work on such a transformation of a station which for years has been unloved by so many however as many people like myself see this from an operational point of view the transformation of the station has not transformed the operations of services using the station. The downstairs part has not changed at all and given the amount of services which have used the station then nothing has been done to add more plaforms in our change the track layout something which has been missed and may come back to bite in the future. However some may argue that with HS2 coming to Birmingham this will mean New Street might operate better I dont know but for now any improvement on the upstairs area which has been poor for years is now a gleaming new station area which those working on the project can be proud of.

Stuart Marshall   24/09/2015 at 22:32

Looks Great!

David Faircloth   29/09/2015 at 01:25

First impressions from a visit on 27 March; nice shopping centre, shame about the railway station. And I don't mean the platforms. If you want to change trains at Birmingham, just make sure you use the stairs/lifts/escalators at the north (B) ends of the platforms; these give access to a cross-station link, connecting all platforms together. Unfortunately, the south (A) end stairs/lifts/escalators do not; the low numbered platforms are linked to a "pen" on the east side, he higher numbered ones to another "pen" on the west side, and the only way of getting from one "pen" to another is via two lots of ticket barriers. Not very good at all. There are seats for waiting passengers in the two "pens", but I can't remember seeing any for passengers using the north end cross corridor; the train departure screens also aren't very visible and can be easily missed if joining a train from Grand Central shopping centre. There were many "helpers" about on Sunday; many were giving out leaflets advertising the Grand Central shopping centre - and these don't show how to access the railway station part of the development from the shopping area! I hope there is still finishing off work to do; the quality of finish of some workmanship left a lot to be desired. Advice to anyone changing trains; timetables show 12 minutes for changing trains, but it is suggested that at the very least 15 is allowed. It's now a very long way from platform 1A to 12A!

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

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

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... 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 >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >