News story

Transport Secretary hails Birmingham New Street station transformation

Birmingham New Street station has been overhauled to dramatically improve passenger capacity and experience.

  • £750 million revamp of busiest station outside London unveiled ahead of opening to public
  • improvements include capacity boost, refurbished platforms, better passenger information and smart-ticketing gates
  • development features new shopping centre creating hundreds of jobs

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin visited Birmingham New Street station today (18 September 2015) to mark the completion of a 5 year programme to transform facilities for passengers.

The new station has been overhauled to dramatically improve station capacity and the passenger experience, with a spectacular new atrium over the concourse, which is now 5 times the size of London Euston.

The station development will also act as a catalyst for regeneration in Birmingham city centre, with the new Grand Central Shopping Centre and John Lewis store being built as part of the development offering hundreds of new jobs.

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 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.

The project to transform the country’s busiest station outside London has been funded by:

  • Department for Transport
  • Network Rail
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Centro
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The new station will deliver:

  • far greater passenger capacity on the concourse, which will also have natural daylight for the first time
  • refurbished and decluttered platforms
  • new touch-screen passenger information
  • larger waiting areas
  • more toilets
  • improved retail
  • a new ticket office
  • better safety and security systems

There are 15 new lifts and 36 escalators, serving every platform. 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.

More than 1,300 Birmingham residents have been involved in the scheme so far, including 250 who were previously unemployed. The project has supported more than 100 young people into apprenticeships. Phase one of the project, including a new concourse, escalators and lifts, opened on 28 April 2013. The new concourse will be fully open to passengers on Sunday 20 September, and the new Grand Central Shopping Centre will open shortly after on 24 September.

The station has been rebuilt while trains have continued to run for the 170,000 passengers who use it every day.

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.

Rail media enquiries