Birmingham New Street Station opening date announced

Work has been taking place on the atrium

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Birmingham's New Street Station is set to open in September 2015 after a £650m redevelopment, Network Rail has said.

Building work began in 2010, and in April 2013 the first phase of the revamp opened, including half of the new concourse.

When completed next year it will be three-and-a-half times bigger than the one it replaces.

The next stage will see the demolition and removal of 6,000 tonnes of concrete from the building.

Artist's impression of redeveloped New Street Station Network Rail said more than 50 million people were expected to pass through the station and shopping centre each year

That would mean the removal of concrete about the same size as Wembley Stadium, Network Rail said.

Two holes will be cut out of the roof and floor of the Pallasades shopping centre to allow natural light to filter through a new 114ft (35m) high atrium on top of the station. It will be first time the station will be lit in that way for 40 years.

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said the revamp would create a "world-class station".

The completion of the project will leave New Street, which opened in 1967, with more than 30 new escalators and 15 public lifts.

The work will also see the shopping centre above the station refurbished.

Once work is complete, the main concourse will be three-and-a-half times larger than before

Named Grand Central, it will feature about 40 shops, including the flagship John Lewis store, and 20 restaurants.

Network Rail said it would create up to 1,000 jobs.

The organisation said more than 50 million people were expected to pass through the station and shopping centre each year.

Mick Miller, senior sponsor for the project from Network Rail, said this scheme was "one of the most complex construction projects over a live railway in Europe".

He said it would have been simpler to complete the work by closing the station but it was not practical because it was the busiest English station outside London.

Mr Miller said it would also aid the regeneration of the Southside area of Birmingham as analysis suggested footfall would increase there after the opening of the new stores at the station.

New Street Station
  • Original station was opened on 1 June 1854
  • Station was badly damaged by WW2 bombing
  • It was demolished in 1964
  • The current station opened in 1967

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