Birmingham New Street Station is set to join the 21st century as it will be transformed into a world-class transport hub in Birmingham.
The £600m New Street Gateway – complete with stunning façade – will be providing commuters all over the country with comfort and convenience as they travel. Once complete the station will set the standard for future train stations.
The development, which is due to be completed in the summer of 2015, began preparatory work in late 2009. In April 2010 construction began, refurbishing the first platform and creating the new concourse whilst in summer 2011 work began on cladding the station in a reflective steel façade.
The first half of the Station’s concourse is due to open in April 2013, whilst the entire project is expected to be completed during summer 2015. The site will remain fully operational throughout the redevelopment work.
Advantage West Midlands, Birmingham City Council, Centro and Network Rail are responsible for this ambitious venture, with the aim of easing the pressure that has been placed on Birmingham New Street in recent years.
The project has been jointly funded by a number of different organizations, with the Government providing £388m and the Department of Transport investing £288m.
£128m of funding has come from Network Rail – Britain’s railway infrastructure operator – and both The Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and Advantage West Midlands is providing £100m. All of this funding is in addition to £10m from Centro and further support from other private sector companies.
Birmingham New Street has had relatively few modifications since its inception in the 1960s yet the station is now host to over 140,000 commuters each day – more than double the number of passengers it was originally intended to accommodate. Approximately 60% of all trains between London and the North of England pass through Birmingham New Street Station each week.
These redevelopment works aim to return New Street to the pristine condition of its former years, and will reduce congestion for the next 40 years.
The much needed makeover at Birmingham New Street Station will consist of additional space and improved facilities with greater ease of access for the public. Better access will be made possible with eight new entrances, 14 new lifts and 42 new escalators that will adorn the existing platforms. There will also be new entrances and public space as well as better links through the station and into the public space.
As well as these necessary changes, the shopping centre located above the station will also be rejuvenated and the outer walls of the station will form a curved structure that will be clad with reflective metal sheets.
The sleek new façade will only add to Birmingham’s already growing reputation for stunning design, adding a new center piece to the structure with an impressive concourse along with a 2,800m² atrium filled with natural light.
The Façade will be complete with ultra-modern digital displays that will present train timetables and improve movement throughout the station whilst maintaining a clear and accessible entrance.
The Gateway will also initiate a major commercial opportunity with two 30 storey towers to the southern aspect, all surrounded by pleasant new public spaces and squares.
The new contemporary building also includes several environmentally friendly features such as Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) that will help to prevent the sewers flooding. Surface water will be redirected, whilst rainwater will be reused for toilets.
New green roofs will also aid the environment in abundance, soaking up storm water and air pollution while absorbing carbon dioxide and providing a valuable city centre wildlife habitat.
A crucial aspect of the redevelopment was the purchase of the Pallasades shopping centre which occupies the space above the station. This is integral to the notion of rejuvenating the entire area in this flagship scheme.
Councilor Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council and chairman of the New Street Funders Board, said:
“This is a significant development in the Gateway project and its speedy acquisition means that the momentum is building towards delivering a completely new rail station for Birmingham, the region and the UK.
“The purchase of the Centre was an important component of the plan, and shows our commitment to the project and our determination to ensure Birmingham has a station fit for the future.
“Network Rail is a key partner in our proposals and they will continue to undertake the day-to-day management of the Centre, through their current agents Savilles. So, it will be ‘business as usual’ for tenants, staff and shoppers alike – a New Start for New Street begins now.”
Mick Laverty, Chief Executive at Advantage West Midlands, said:
“This is an important and positive step forward for the Gateway project, particularly in such a challenging time for the economy.
“Our £100 million investment is still the largest investment in a single regeneration project by any regional development agency in the country and shows our commitment to creating a world-class rail hub for West Midlands.
“During the downturn it is vital that government funding from Advantage West Midlands and partners in the public sector keep major physical developments moving forward, creating jobs and changing lives long after the global economy has picked itself up and brushed itself down.”
Neil Thompson, Construction Director for Network Rail, said:
“The commercial agreement is a significant development for the project. Network Rail has been working on detailed designs for the station, following the launch of visionary concepts last year, which will enable us to start on site as early as possible.
“The public has made it absolutely clear they back our plans to transform New Street and this deal means passengers are one step closer to the station they deserve.”
A1 Flue Systems
For almost 40 years, A1 Flue Systems has specialised in the manufacture of bespoke stainless steel flues and chimneys for the commercial sector. Over the years A1 Flue Systems has worked on a number of high-profile projects including the Gherkin, King’s Cross Station, St Pancras and HM Prison Belmarsh.
Working on Birmingham New Street Station, A1 Flue Systems fitted a temporary fan dilution system within basement plant rooms. The system operated the boilers and helped to facilitate the construction work on the site. In total, A1 Flue Systems worked on Birmingham New Street Station for eight weeks.
The Senior Managers of A1 Flue Systems, said:
“At A1 Flue Systems we are most proud of the fact that we are specialist flue manufacturers and not stockists. All of our work is custom made to order.
“We are market leaders and our portfolio of work covers all aspects of the commercial sector, from water treatment works and prisons, to schools, universities and hospitals.”