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Rebuilt New Street opens


Spacious new concourse the result of five-year construction project

The rebuilt Birmingham New Street station opened its doors on Sunday 20 September, marking the culmination of a five-year, £750 million project.

The station is the busiest outside London and currently used by 170,000 passengers a day, but Network Rail says that following the rebuild it will be able to handle 300,000 passengers a day.

The centrepiece of the rebuilt station is a new concourse five times the size of that at London Euston, covered by a new atrium, allowing natural light to flood in. 43 shops are provided at concourse level, while above it is the new Grand Central shopping complex, which replaces the old Palisades shopping centre and will offer a further 60 retail units and food outlets. Improvements have also been made at platform level with the addition of 36 new escalators and 15 new lifts and the removal of redundant structures to ‘de-clutter’ the platforms, although this work is not yet complete.

The rebuilding was announced in 2006, with funding from a range of partners, including the Department for Transport, Network Rail, Birmingham City Council and Centro, confirmed two years later.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne 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.’

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, added: ‘The station redevelopment has been a key project for the city, stimulating economic growth and regeneration and, with the added creation of Grand Central, it has provided one of the best-connected retail spaces in the country. This is sure to have a catalytic effect on further regeneration of the city centre and attracting businesses to Birmingham.’

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