Passengers using Birmingham New Street will see the first major changes in over 40 years when the station concourse switches over next April, marking the half way point of the redevelopment. In six months time, the existing station concourse and its entrances which have been in use since the 1960s will close overnight to allow the first half of the brand new concourse to open to passengers.
Chris Montgomery, Network Rail project director said: “We’ve committed to keeping New Street open to passengers throughout the redevelopment and to date, we’ve been able to do most of our work behind the scenes.
“The switchover next year will be the first time passengers see real changes in how they use and access New Street station. By switching off the old station and opening the first half of the new concourse next door, we can keep passengers moving through New Street while we continue rebuilding the existing half of the station and shopping centre above.”
A public information campaign will kick off in January to inform passengers about the changes they can expect to see at New Street in April 2013. In the meantime, passengers will be able to find out more at a public exhibition at the station next week which will be open between 7am-7pm on Monday 8, Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 October.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The refurbished Birmingham New Street station will provide a much improved transport interchange for the 140,000 passengers who use it every day and these changes are designed to keep passengers and trains moving while this major work goes ahead. This is a vital project for the city, stimulating economic growth and regeneration and, in the newly-named Grand Central, it will provide one of the best-connected retail spaces in the country.
Around 1000 construction workers are currently on site at New Street, main areas of activity include:
Platforms: Platforms are refurbished one at a time, leaving the other 11 platforms open to allow a full train service to run. Platform 11 is currently closed and will reopen on Sunday 7 October when work will move to Platform 8.
Moor Street Link: This new pedestrian route will open alongside the new concourse in April 2013 providing a link between Moor Street station and the new concourse via Stephenson Street.
Pallasades/Southside: Demolition is ongoing in several areas including the old car park and the centre of the building to form the new atrium which will open in 2015. The Pallasades remains open throughout the redevelopment. On the south side of the station, construction of the John Lewis department store is well underway.
Façade: The first sections of stainless steel façade will be installed later this autumn, above Stephenson Street on the north side of the station.
Cllr Roger Horton, Centro’s lead member for transforming rail, said: “I’m very pleased that the Gateway project remains on course and on time, and its completion will be a massive boost for the thousands of passengers using the station each day.
“The concourse switchover will be a key milestone in the station’s transformation which in turn will help underpin our efforts to create a world class transport system for the West Midlands.”
New concourse facts:
When the first half of the new concourse opens it will have all of the facilities expected in a major station with a new bigger and improved ticket office plus improved access with new up and down escalators and lifts to every platform.
Navigation Street footbridge at the west end of the station will close to passengers temporarily as new entrances will open onto Stephenson Street and Hill Street.
There will also be new escalators up to the Pallasades to replace the existing ones which will close to allow the old concourse to be rebuilt.
All vehicle traffic will move from Smallbrook Queensway on the east side of the station across to Hill Street with the taxi rank temporarily moving to Navigation Street.