Birmingham New Street is a major railway station located in the centre of the city of Birmingham, England. It lies on the Birmingham branch of the West Coast Main Line.

New Street is Birmingham's main railway station, and is a major hub of the British railway system. Due to its central location, railway lines from all over Great Britain run into it including lines to London, Manchester, Scotland, Wales, Bristol, Penzance, Nottingham, Leicester, Shrewsbury and Newcastle.

The station is also a terminus for many local services from throughout the West Midlands conurbation, including the local Cross City railway line, serving Lichfield, Redditch and stations in between. Direct trains run to more stations from New Street than from any other station on the British railway network.

Over 35 million people pass through New Street station every year, making it the busiest major station in the United Kingdom outside London[1]. It is one of 17 British railway stations managed by Network Rail.


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.

Because it was constructed by two companies, the original New Street Station was effectively two stations built side-by-side. Each company had one half, with a road, Queen's Drive, between them. This led to an inconvenient track layout which restricted capacity. In 1923, the two companies, with others, were grouped into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS).

The station was completely re-built by the nationalised British Railways in the mid 1960s, 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 has the Pallasades Shopping Centre and an NCP car park above it. The station and the Pallasades are now somewhat integrated with the Bullring complex, connected by indoor walkways and escalators. Next to the car park Stephenson Tower, a residential tower block was constructed. The Brutalist 1960s corrugated concrete architecture of New Street Signal Box is located to the side of the tracks connected to Navigation Street. It is now a Grade II listed building [1]. An innovative automated public address system, voiced by professional voice artist Phil Sayer has also been introduced, announcing departing trains and other information over loudspeakers around the station.

In 1995, New Street Station caught fire[citation needed] - apparently due to a discarded cigarette end and became the subject of an avant-garde pop record by Samplesonic.

A feasibility study worth £3.9m into the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station, known as the Birmingham Gateway Project, was approved on 21 January 2005. A development scheme is anticipated to begin in 2006. [2]

See also


  • 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).


  1. "Managed Stations Footfall". Network Rail. 2004/05. Retrieved 2006-05-27.
  2. "Rail Air Rights Towers Planned For Birmingham". 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-26.

External links

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