£750m Birmingham New Street opens to public
21 September 2015 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
After five years and at a cost of £750 million, Birmingham New Street station opened its doors to the public on Sunday 20 September 2015.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin marked completion of Birmingham New Street by visiting the station ahead of public opening on 20 September 2015.
During the five year redevelopment programme, the station underwent a complete rebuilt while trains continued to run as normal for the daily 170,000 passengers. The station now houses a new atrium over a large concourse which is said to be five times that of London Euston.
In addition, the transport hub will provide 43 shops at concourse level and a 450,000 sq ft Grand Central shopping complex, due to open Thursday 24 September 2015. The development is expected to provide more than 1,000 jobs and attract more than 50 million visitors a year.
Commenting ahead of the station’s opening, Chancellor George Osborne said: “This £750 million investment to modernise Birmingham New Street station is at the heart of our plans to use the power of infrastructure to build a more healthy, balanced and productive economy right across the Midlands.
“We are committed to build the Midlands engine, set to boost growth by attracting local jobs and investment, and today’s announcement shows we are delivering on our long-term economic plan for the region.”
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.
“The improvements made at this important transport hub have made it into a truly impressive building that passengers and the people of Birmingham can use and enjoy.”
Birmingham New Street to offer 66 smartcard-enabled ticket gates
The reopened station will provide 15 new lifts and 36 escalators for access to every platform, increased passenger capacity on the concourse, touch-screen passenger information, a new ticket office and improved safety and security systems. From 20 September, 66 smartcard-enabled ticket gates will be ready to use. This means passengers will be able to travel seamlessly between regional rail, bus and tram services, as part of a scheme introduced over the coming months and next year.
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.
“Rebuilding one of the busiest stations in the country without impacting on passengers’ journeys has been a major challenge, but I’m extremely proud to say that Network Rail and our partners on this project have done just that. That’s a significant achievement for everyone who has helped build this fantastic new station of which they, and all of Birmingham, can be very proud indeed.”
For further information on Birmingham New Street station visit www.newstreetnewstart.co.uk.