Birmingham New Street
Birmingham New Street
The west end of the station.
PlaceNew Street, Birmingham, England
Local authorityBirmingham City Council
Grid referenceTemplate:Gbmapscaled
Station codeBHM
Managed byNetwork Rail
Platforms in use13
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail
Annual rail passenger usage
2004/05 *11px 16.244 million
2005/06 *11px 17.303 million
2006/07 *11px 14.525 million
2007/08 *11px 17.007 million
2008/09 *11px 26.587 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTEWest Midlands
1854First opened
1964Queen's Hotel closed and demolished
1964Power signal box built
National Rail - UK railway stations
Template:Hide in print
* Annual passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Birmingham New Street from Office of Rail Regulation statistics.
Template:Portal frameless

Birmingham New Street is the main railway station serving the city of Birmingham, England, located in the city centre. It lies on the Birmingham loop of the West Coast Main Line, and is a major hub of the British railway system.

Birmingham is also served by Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Hill. Also on the outskirts closer to Solihull is Birmingham International which serves the airport and National Exhibition Centre. Due to its central location, railway lines from all over Great Britain run into it including lines to London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Scotland, Cardiff, North Wales, Bournemouth, Bristol, Plymouth, Nottingham, Leicester, Shrewsbury and Newcastle upon Tyne.

The station is also a terminus for many local services from throughout the West Midlands conurbation, and acts as a major pass through for the cross city line, which runs between Lichfield and Redditch.

Network Rail, which manages the station and measures usage through counting passenger footfall, ranks New Street station as the busiest in the United Kingdom outside London with 40.1 million annual visitors, 87% of whom are passengers.[1] The Office of Rail Regulation, which estimates usage through analysing ticket sales, ranks New Street as the second busiest station outside London after Glasgow Central, with 25.1 million annual entries and exits.[2] New Street is by far the busiest rail hub outside London, with over 4 million passengers changing trains at the station annually.[3]

An enclosed station, with buildings over most of its span, New Street is not popular with its users with a customer satisfaction rate of only 52% - the joint lowest of any Network Rail major station.[4] A £550m redevelopment scheme named Gateway Plus was given the full funding by the British Government in February 2008, and new designs were unveiled in September 2008. Work commenced on the redevelopment a year later.[5]

The station is allocated the IATA location identifier QQN.


The first railway stationEdit

File:Old New Street entrance 1803019.jpg

New Street station was constructed as a joint station by the London and North Western Railway and the Midland Railway between 1846 and 1854 to replace several earlier unconnected rail termini, the most notable being Curzon Street. It was opened in 1851 as a temporary rail terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway.[6] The station was constructed by Messrs. Fox, Henderson & Co. was designed by A. E. Coowper of Fox Henderson and Co.. When completed, it had the largest iron and glass roof in the world, spanning a width of Category:Aldwych Branch The Short Streach Of Line Between Holborn And Aldwych Was Closed In 1994.The Line Was Due To be extended to Waterloo but never was.There will be a bit of Aldwych In My Website when added and being Category:Aldwych Branch The Short Streach Of Line Between Holborn And Aldwych Was Closed In 1994.The Line Was Due To be extended to Waterloo but never was.There will be a bit of Aldwych In My Website when added long.[7] It held this title for fourteen years. It was formally opened on 1 June 1854[7] however it had been in use for two years before this. The Queen's Hotel was opened on the same day[7] and its telegraphic address became "Besthotel Birmingham".

Those Midland railway trains that had used Curzon Street began to use New Street from 1854. However, those south towards Bristol would have to reverse, so many continued through Camp Hill. Increasing congestion meant that the Midland spent £500,000 on enlargements, which included a second train shed to the south of Great Queen Street, which became a central carriageway. Some through trains to the southwest began in 1885, with a new underpass from Derby Junction to Grand Junction, independent of the LNWR, and a new south tunnel in 1896.[8] The new Midland Railway station opened alongside the original LNWR station on 8 February 1885.[7] This station consisted of two trussed arches, Category:Aldwych Branch The Short Streach Of Line Between Holborn And Aldwych Was Closed In 1994.The Line Was Due To be extended to Waterloo but never was.There will be a bit of Aldwych In My Website when added wide by Category:Aldwych Branch The Short Streach Of Line Between Holborn And Aldwych Was Closed In 1994.The Line Was Due To be extended to Waterloo but never was.There will be a bit of Aldwych In My Website when added long, and Category:Aldwych Branch The Short Streach Of Line Between Holborn And Aldwych Was Closed In 1994.The Line Was Due To be extended to Waterloo but never was.There will be a bit of Aldwych In My Website when added wide by Category:Aldwych Branch The Short Streach Of Line Between Holborn And Aldwych Was Closed In 1994.The Line Was Due To be extended to Waterloo but never was.There will be a bit of Aldwych In My Website when added long. This was designed by F. Stevenson, Chief Engineers to the LNWR.[7] By the end of 19th century, New Street had become one of the busiest railway stations in the country.

In 1923, the two companies, with others, were grouped into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) by the Railways Act 1921.

The current railway stationEdit

The roof of the original station was repaired after it sustained heavy damage as a result of enemy bombing in the Birmingham Blitz of World War II.[9] The station roof was removed between during the major redevelopment of the site in the mid 1960s. In 1964, the Queen's Hotel was closed and demolished whilst the power signal box was completed in the same year.[7] The New Street Station Signal Box is a distinctly Brutalist building with corrugated concrete architecture. It was designed by Bicknell & Hamilton in collaboration with W. R. Healey, the regional architect for the British Railways London Midland Region.[10] The four storey structure is located to the side of the tracks connected to Navigation Street. It is now a Grade II listed building.[11][12]

File:New Street under reconstruction 1803095.jpg

In 1964, demolition of the original New Street station commenced and was not completed until 1966.[9] The new New Street station was completed in 1967 by the nationalised British Railways, when the West Coast Main Line was modernised and electrified. Queen's Drive was lost in the rebuilding, but the name is now carried by a new driveway which serves the car park and a tower block, and is the access route for the station's taxis. The rebuilt station was designed by Kenneth J. Davies, the lead planner for the London Midland Region at British Rail.[13] The new station had sold its air rights, leading to the construction of the Pallasades Shopping Centre (known then as the Birmingham Shopping Centre)[14] between 1968-70.[13] Also above the station is a nine-storey office block designed by Cotton, Ballard & Blow, who also designed the Exchange Place building overlooking the ramp from New Street leading into the Pallasades Shopping Centre.[13] An NCP car park is also located on top of the station. The station and the Pallasades are now somewhat integrated with the Bullring Shopping Centre via elevated walkways above Smallbrook Queensway. Alongside the station, a residential tower block named Stephenson Tower was constructed between 1965 and 1966. It was designed by the City Architect of Birmingham and is 20 storeys tall. The tower is on a long lease and administered by Birmingham City Council, with Network Rail having the freehold.[15]


Currently, New Street handles about 80% of passengers travelling to, from or through Birmingham.[16]

There are currently three escalators providing access to the Pallasades Shopping Centre, and two lifts providing access to a subway running underneath the platforms. The subway has lifts for access to the 'A' end of all platforms. There are escalators from the concourse down to the 'B' end of each platform (with the exception of platforms 1 and 12). All 12 main platforms (excluding platform 4c) at New Street have tracks that go straight through the station, as opposed to terminating with buffers like at many other large stations. This results in most platform changes, and access to the concourse, requiring use of the escalators, stairs, or lifts. The main platforms are also all long enough for two relatively short trains to stand at them.

New Street does not have automatic barriers that check tickets. Instead, station staff inspect tickets at peak times, while at off-peak times there is often no ticket checking. Birmingham New Street hosts a British Transport Police station. Since the summer of 2001, the distinctive automated announcements have been provided by voice artist Phil Sayer, and delivered by a computerised service provided by Ditra Systems.[17]

A manual PA system, used all the time before the summer of 2001, is used today for announcements to staff or members of the public, or if the automated system breaks down.

In 1987, twelve different horse sculptures by Kevin Atherton, titled Iron Horse, were erected between New Street station and Wolverhampton. One stands on a platform at New Street.[18]


Main article: Gateway Plus
File:New Street Redevelopment exterior.jpg
New Street is frequently derided as one of the most run down and unwelcoming of all the major stations on the British railway network. Although much of this can be blamed on the sub-surface nature of the station and the 1960s architecture, that it is built below the dated Pallasades shopping arcade also contributes to New Street's perceived negative ambience. In November 2003 the station was voted the second biggest "eyesore" in the UK by readers of Country Life magazine.[19] New Street was voted joint worst station for customer satisfaction with Liverpool Lime Street and East Croydon with only 52% satisfied; the national average was 60%.[4]

A feasibility study into the redevelopment of the station site was approved on 21 January 2005. A regeneration scheme was launched in 2006.[20] Since then, the scheme has taken various forms, and various names, such as Birmingham Gateway, Gateway Plus, and New Street Gateway. This proposed complete rebuilding of the street level buildings and refurbishment of the platforms, with track and platform level remaining essentially unchanged. A target date given for completion was 2013.

On 12 February 2008, then-Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly announced that the Department for Transport will be providing £160 million on top of the £128 million that is to be provided through a government White Paper named Delivering a Sustainable Railway.[21] A further £100 million will be provided by the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and will be channelled through Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency. The announcement brought the total amount of Government spending on the project to £388 million.[22] Following discarding of earlier sets of proposals, six architects were shortlisted to design the new station following a call for submissions,[23] and it was announced in September 2008 that the design by Foreign Office Architects had been chosen.[24]

The fact that the Gateway development leaves the railway capacity of the station more or less unaltered has not escaped attention. In July 2008 the Commons Transport Committee criticised the plans, saying that it was not convinced that the plans were adequate for the number of trains which could end up using the station. It said if the station could not be adapted, the government needed to look for alternative solutions.[25] Designs were shown to the public in mid-February 2006 for a new Birmingham New Street Station in a project known as Gateway Plus.[26] The plans featured a foyer of open space with a multi-storey entrance. The roof was composed completely of glass to allow natural light to enter the entrance hall. The façade will have rounded edges and the Pallasades Shopping Centre above the station will remain.

Various alternatives to the Gateway schemes have been put forward, including building a new main station on a different site, and diverting trains to Snow Hill and Moor Street stations (the latter of which would mean either restoration of Moor Street's bay platforms or a reduction in services). One such scheme is Birmingham Grand Central Station, proposed by Arup.

The approved planning application which was submitted to the council in August 2006 shows a glass façade with rounded edges. The entrance on Station Street originally included two curved 130 metre tall towers on the site of Stephenson Tower. Due to the economic slowdown, the office space is not needed, and the "twin towers" plan has been shelved until the market picks up.[27]
Work began on the Gateway Plus on 26 April 2010. The building work will be done in phases in an attempt to minimise disruption to passengers and shoppers. Building work is now expected to last until at least 2015.[28]


Template:West Midlands Lines Virgin Trains


Some services continue towards Glasgow, Aberdeen, Guildford and Penzance.

London Midland

Arriva Trains Wales

Preceding station 12px National Rail Following station
  Arriva Trains Wales
Birmingham - Chester
  Smethwick Galton Bridge
  Arriva Trains Wales
Cambrian Line
Terminus   CrossCountry
Birmingham - Leicester
  Water Orton or
Coleshill Parkway
Birmingham - Stansted Airport
  Coleshill Parkway
Bournemouth - Manchester
Cheltenham Spa   CrossCountry
Bristol — Manchester
Leamington Spa   CrossCountry
Reading — Newcastle
University   CrossCountry
Cardiff — Nottingham
  Wilnecote or Tamworth
Cheltenham Spa   CrossCountry
Plymouth - Edinburgh
University   London Midland
Hereford — Birmingham
Duddeston   London Midland
Cross-City Line
  Five Ways
  London Midland
Chase Line
Terminus   London Midland
  Sandwell and Dudley
Adderley Park   London Midland
Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line
  Smethwick Rolfe
Terminus   Virgin Trains
West Coast Main Line
  Virgin Trains
  Virgin Trains
  Sandwell and

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • A History of Birmingham, Chris Upton, 1997, ISBN 0-85033-870-0.
  • Birmingham New Street. The Story of a Great Station Including Curzon Street. 1 Background and Beginnings. The Years up to 1860. By Richard Foster. Wild Swan Publications Limited (1990) ISBN 0-906867-78-9
  • Birmingham New Street. The Story of a Great Station Including Curzon Street. 2 Expansion and Improvement. 1860 to 1923. By Richard Foster. Wild Swan Publications Limited (1990) ISBN 0-906867-79-7
  • Birmingham New Street. The Story of a Great Station Including Curzon Street. 3 LMS Days. 1923-1947 By Richard Foster. Wild Swan Publications Limited (1997) ISBN 1-874103-37-2
  • Birmingham New Street. The Story of a Great Station Including Curzon Street 4 British Railways. The First 15 Years. By Richard Foster. Wild Swan Publications Limited (Publication awaited).
  • Smith, Donald J. (1984).New Street Remembered: The story of Birmingham's New Street Station 1854-1967 In words and pictures. Birmingham: Barbryn Press Ltd. ISBN 0-906160-05-7.


  1. Footfall Figures (pdf). Network Rail. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved on 2010-08-14.
  2. Delta Rail (March 2010). Station Usage 2008/09 Summary Report (pdf). Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved on 2010-08-14.
  3. Delta Rail (March 2010). Station Usage 2008/09 Summary Report (pdf). Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved on 2010-08-14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Template:Cite news
  5. Birmingham City Council: New Street new Start. Retrieved on 2008-09-18.
  6. New Street Station. Rail Around Birmingham and the West Midlands. Retrieved on 2008-07-07.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Birmingham New Street — History. Network Rail. Retrieved on 2008-07-06.
  8. Pixton, B. (2005). Birmingham-Derby: Portrait of a Famous Route. Runpast Publishing. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Foster, Andy [2005] (2007). Birmingham, Pevsner Architectural Guides. Yale University Press, 110. ISBN 978-0-300-10731-9. 
  10. Foster, Andy [2005] (2007). Birmingham, Pevsner Architectural Guides. Yale University Press, 207. ISBN 978-0-300-10731-9. 
  11. Template:IoE
  12. Listed buildings. Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved on 2008-07-06.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Foster, Andy [2005] (2007). Birmingham, Pevsner Architectural Guides. Yale University Press, 216. ISBN 978-0-300-10731-9. 
  14. Aerial View of New Street Station 1963. Birmingham City Council. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved on 2008-07-06.
  15. Report No. 7 – New Street Station, Stephenson Street/Navigation Street/Station Street and Smallbrook Queensway, City (C/05066/06/OUT) minutes (pdf). Birmingham City Council. Retrieved on 2008-07-06.
  16. New Street redevelopment ‘on-track’ for 2007. Birmingham City Council (2006-12-19). Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved on 2006-12-26.
  17. Chris Arnot (June 2004). The face behind The Voice is sorry for the delay today. Railnews (republished by University of Birmingham). Retrieved on 2008-07-07.
  18. Noszlopy, George T.; Jeremy Beach (1998). Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield. ISBN 0-85323-692-5. 
  19. Template:Cite news
  20. Rail Air Rights Towers Planned For Birmingham. (2006). Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
  22. Template:Cite news
  23. Template:Cite news
  24. Transforming New Street Station. Network Rail / Birmingham City Council / Advantage West Midlands / Centro. Retrieved on 2008-10-03.
  25. Template:Cite news
  26. Re-New Street: Change at New Street
  27. Template:Cite news
  28. Template:Cite news

External linksEdit


Template:BirminghamBuildings Template:Major railway stations in Britaincy:Gorsaf New Street Birmingham de:Bahnhof Birmingham New Street lt:Birmingham New Street geležinkelio stotis nl:Station Birmingham New Street ja:バーミンガム・ニューストリート駅 pl:Birmingham New Street

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