Many people stop by Birmingham New Street Station, going from one place to another. Perhaps for some, it's a daily occurrence. Strangely enough, I got to sing inside the station's main entrance during evening rush hour!
You might be thinking that this was rather bold of me but, no, this wasn't a spontaneous vocal act; my band had a gig in the train station, you see. - Our very first gig of the Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival, just under an hour after our train had pulled into the city. - Yes, a gig! With amps and mics. And guitar and double bass and my vibrating vocal chords. It's mad, isn't it? The folks at Birmingham Jazz & Blues Festival are infamous for their venue choices and enthusiasm for keeping the festival mainly free. Really, it was also a cunning act of promotion for the festival, and one which we were thrilled to be a part of. So whilst we were only in the station on two occasions and I'm not a regulator commuter to and from Birmingham New Street, it'd be impossible for me to review the consistency of the service. What I can say is that staff were so welcoming and hospitable to us during our visit. And also, that the station is HUGE!
When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by Simon. He took us to the offices, where we could leave our belongings, before taking us to the performance area at the front of the station. It was amazing to see that the station is so supportive of the Birmingham Jazz and Blues Fest and actually allowed a performance to go ahead in the station. They had huge posters advertising that we'd be playing! Like, huge, woah. THE PRECIOUS PENNY PLUCKERS. Even bigger than that. A big, big poster for a wee, wee band from Scotland. (Och, we're blushing, New Street!) What followed was an interesting gig, with lovely commuter folks lending their ears. There were a few strange folks who wandered over very, very close to the mic but, hey, that's to be expected in any city. Simon swiftly moved them on as I avoided eye contact!
Simon captured a photo of the gig and put it on the Birmingham New Street twitter page, which was lovely of him, and a nice memory for us of one of our most interesting gigs yet. Afterwards, the question we all had on our minds was...'See the giant posters...CAN WE HAVE THEM?' Not a problem! Simon put them aside for us to collect when we were headed on our journey home. What a nice 'fella!
Now I've one on my wall. So if you don't believe I played a gig in Birmingham New Street station, I've got the poster to prove it!
This Station has come a long way from the concrete mess it was before. Was dark and looked like old Library of Birmingham. Looking more cleaner and brighter everytime I go now.
Feels specious and love the shops and screens everywhere. The self service ticket machines are great. I was running late and thought was going to miss my train to Milton Keynes. The ticket area had long line and went to use the machine. It was fast and got on my train bang on time.
Lots of on going contruction transforming this station to modern bigger station. Should've been refurbished/upgraded many years ago but atleast we getting now. Can't wait till next year septemeber 2015 when it opens. Almost there :)
I can't believe the changes to this Station. If you had never been to New Street Station before 2012, you won't know what I'm talking about - but it never ceases to amaze me every time I use it now how much it has changed.
So, New Street used to be a dirty, busy thoroughfare with escalators that broke constantly and the teeniest selection of shops to grab a "pre-travel" snack or magazine. Skip forward and things couldn't be more different.
New Street is now a modern, clean gateway into the City Centre. It has been made more confusing to navigate, but just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get your train and you'll be fine. You can get into the Station from Pinfold Street (and soon, Station Street), the Bullring Link and it's easy to find from New Street (the main shopping area of the City).
There are lots of screens available showing you the arrivals and departures, as well as a touchscreen system that you can look up individual trains (should you have trouble figuring it out). There are ticket desks, but if you know where you are going and what ticket you want; head to the self-service ticket machines for faster service.
There is a large waiting area through the ticket inspection gates and a decent selection different stores available for you to grab some snacks or cosmetics and bits for your trip. There is a Virgin Trains first class lounge in the station (if you have a valid ticket for this) which means you can grab a bite to eat and a hot/cold drink free of charge before travelling.
As a top tip, get your ticket ready before you get to the gates. This area can get clogged up with people rooting through their things, so just make sure you have it to hand before you go through. There is also escalators and lifts to each platform (meaning that the disability access is pretty good at this station).
This is a good gate way into a great city. The train station is having a very major upgrade at the moment but it is still very easy to navigate this big station.
The best thing is the toilets are free unlike the once in London.
My most recent journey I found that a number of the outlet had be closed to allow the work to be completed. However there was still a coffee place and it was only going to be for a short time.
All round very good
The main problem with New Street station has historically been how to find the damn place. It's tucked underneath street level and if you don't know where you're going it can be quite a task to find out how to get there. Unless you're in a taxi of course. There's a high-level bridge area spanning all the tracks, containing cafes and a few shops, and stairs and escalators down to the platforms lead off this.
Recently there's been a lot of redevelopment of the whole Bull Ring area in Birmingham, and this has now extended to the station. So the little south side entrance stairs that I used to favour from Station Street beside the Old Rep have gone, as has the 'main' entrance from Smallbrook Queensway. I'm glad I took a walk the day before to check this out, otherwise I would have missed my early-morning train.
Now there is a pedestrian entrance down the other side of the tracks that leads through a passage into Stephenson Street on the north side, where they are developing a new ticket hall at that end of the bridge.
I'm guessing they are planning something similar for the other end, but that was a building site so I couldn't tell on this visit. There also used to be an escalator entrance direct from the shopping centre above, but again I don't know if that's still there.
As stations go, it's functional without having much architectural merit. The main problem is finding your way into it, but I'm sure it'll be easier when they've finished the building work.
Birmingham New Street is going though a pretty big re development and once it finished its going to look pretty impressive with a huge John Lewis shopping centre called grand central. Though at the moment its all white walls and a few shops here and there, Its an easy way to get around the country though with great links to London, Manchester and the rest of the country.
This station isn't my favourite station. Rather than a square, it's really long and all the shops are on one side. The toilets are quite far away, there are a lot of exits, and the platforms are all tucked down wee side stairs. It's not very easy to navigate your way around.
That being said, once I found the M & S Simply Food, I was happy at how big it was and how many tasty goodies I could get for my long train journey home. But it loses points for being so hard to find or realise it's there (no sign posts!) There's also a distinct lack of 'departure' boards... kind of essential for a train station.
The rest of Brum is lovely, and I love coming here. But the train station is not my friend.
i only had a brief visit to Birmingham New Street Station, once getting to Birmingham and then leaving again. on arrival, it was getting on in the evening and after being on a four hour train journey i just wanted to hop in a taxi and get to my hotel. this seems like a fairly simple task, but i found it rather more complicated than expected. first finding my way out of the station was a bit of a maze and then when i did find the exit with the taxis, i realised i needed cash and had to go find a cash point. to be fair one of the plus points of this station is the numerous cash points located in the main entrance so getting cash was fairly easy. however, after that i had to trek myself out of the station all the way around the outside and onto the street to get taxi. this was well signed posted, but having the taxi rank in the station would be fair more beneficial and easier to find!
when i returned to the station to catch my train home i found a few other annoyances. such as the stores aren't all situated after the ticket check point. some entrances are before that so you may find yourself going in and out of the ticket check points just to get your bottle of water and fruit from M&S. so definitely need to have easy access to your tickets at all times. there also aren't that many places to grab a quick bite to take away on the train. although mi casa which sells burrito was a pretty exciting find and i was super pleased to get a burrito to eat on my journey home.
overally this place is A-OK. it's not my favourite train station and i didn't find it overly convenient when trying to get around or get a taxi, but i suppose it fills the need of a train station. the platforms are well labelled, there's a few seating areas with a good number of seats, and thankfully my train was on time so my visit was only brief.
It's so so here. The sour point on my recent trip was the communication. My platform, as informed by the board from about 8.30pm, depicted that my Leeds train was from number 11. Come ten minutes past the time I was meant to board I discovered, thanks to a rather ungracious member of staff, that the platform had changed to 8 or some such. Apparently they'd changed the boards and made an announcement. I somehow doubt this, as I triple checked the the info before waiting at platform 11. Harrumph.
I love the shops and the fact it's like a shopping centre-come-station, but I did not like the million miles to grab a cigarette from one of the exits. (I know, it's a filthy habit, but it's one I've nurtured for some time.) The problem with having to walk so far away from the entrance is that (on the occasion I was here) you're open for randoms to approach you - I was lucky enough (and perhaps savvy enough) not to have my bag pinched from this guy who was determined to 'befriend' me. Fortunately one of the ladies working here clocked him and told him to clear off, as she'd seen him in action earlier. I'm grateful for that!
In any case, it's not all bad. I did make a lovely new pal, who also missed the Leeds train, so there's that to be grateful for. We shared a coffee in the rather interesting 'lounge' space, and then found our respective trains home after an hour. Since I'm a fan of making friends and enjoying random conversation (not with bag pinchers, but interesting folk) I'll forgive Birmingham station the mistakes and call it quits.
This station is in the middle of a major redevelopment, and it will be great when this is completed. All of the outlets housed inside the Pallasades shopping area, will be opening in Autumn 2014 complete with a John Lewis store - wahoo! But back to the present day.....!
This station houses all the usual train station outlets - Boots, M&S, Burger King, WHSmith, and plenty of coffee places so you can grab a coffee and snack on the go.
The connection links are fab and you can be in the big smoke in just an hour an half.
The staff are also helpful on the information desk, and are knowledgeable about each of the timetable routes.
I can't wait until this station is looking brand spanking new :)
A bit sad and drab, but does the job perfectly well.
It's undergoing a huge rebuild as we speak, and the plans show the finished building to be very impressive indeed.
Could do with more natural light, as it's all underground. It is right in the City centre though, so it's close to wherever you need to be.
I'm torn. Half of me want to give Birmingham New Street a hearty high-five for providing direct trains to cities all over the country from all its 12 platforms, but part of me also wants to berate it, for being the most miserable and shabby major train station I've ever been to.
Birmingham New Street is old. But not old enough that it has lovely brickwork and impressively high ceilings like the really old train stations do. No, it is just old enough to be terribly outdated and in dire need of a makeover. Like Craig M, I was also under the impression that a refurb was underway, though I have seen no evidence of this whenever I've been there over the past few months, aside from a new ticket machine or two. It is still as drab as ever.
As highlighted, the principle cause of this is the total lack of natural light, which hasn't even been replaced by a decent quality of electric lighting. Or maybe the lighting is fine, it's just the surroundings suck it all up. Either way, it's gloomy.
I resent having to pay 30p to empty my bladder. I know it's a small price, and it has become standard in major train stations up and down our fair isle, but frankly I'm surprised something like that can be legal. I don't carry cash a lot of the time, so if I'm really bursting I have to take a tenner out and buy the cheapest thing I can find in WHSmith to get some change. All this nonsense, just for a wee?
However, speaking of WHSmith, there are a decent collection of shops and eateries on offer. You will find a mini Marks & Spencer food hall, Millie's Cookies, Burger King, Boots, Whistlestop, Café Ritazza, Camden Food Co., Costa Coffee, Pasty Shop, The Card Shop and the Shakespeare pub. Some of these are accessible to everyone, some are only accessible if you have a ticket.
Access isn't great either. Well, it's fine if you're a sure footed pedestrian. But for the disabled and those burdened with heavy luggage it starts to get problematic. 10 of the platforms have escalators that will take you UP but not down. There are only two lifts, serving only 4 of the 12 platforms, I am sure these lifts must exist, but they can't be that easy to locate as I have yet to find them...
Birmingham New Street Station (BHM) is a major rail hub and probably the busiest station in the country outside of London. With a dozen separate tracks (some separated into A and B), railway lines run run into it from London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Scotland, Cardiff, North Wales, Bournemouth, Bristol, Plymouth, Nottingham, Leicester, Shrewsbury and Newcastle upon Tyne.
All of the station is underground or under other buildings, which means that there isn't any natural light. This makes it a rather depressing place to change trains, though there are adequate services upstairs. Coffee kiosks, sandwich vendors and pasty shops a plenty, plus the usual pay-toilets I've come to expect throughout the UK.
There are lifts ("elevators" in American) from the main level down to the platforms and escalators, though these only seem to go "up". :-(
As stations go, not the best and brightest, but it serves its function well.
I have used New Street Station on numerous occasions and it is pretty spacious as you would expect it to be. This is the main station in the 'Second City'.
It has excellent connection links to different parts of the country. You can get trains to Glasgow, London, Wales, Manchester and many other cities/towns in the UK. I regularly use this station to travel to and from London Euston.
New Street Station is situated right in the City Centre and you cannot miss it. The station itself is currently undergoing redevelopment and should be completed by 2015. And to be honest with you the sooner it is completed the better.
It is obvious the platforms need to be improved and the toilets are not great either. There are plenty of eating facilities at the station and you will find plenty of coffee shops. You will also find a WHS Smith store so you might want to buy some food and magazines if you are going on a long journey.
I will use this station again whenever I visit London next. Staff will help if you are unsure of what platform your train will be arriving or departing at. New Street is always busy so my advice would be to arrive at least 20 minutes before your train departs from here.
If you need to zoom between these two cities then if you can hop on one of the many expresses heading to the North-West then you can be there in something like 17 minutes - just head towards platforms 4b, 4c and 5b.
If you're not so lucky or you need to travel to one of the stops inbetween, then the local service isn't all that bad. Running every half-hour, it takes around 25 minutes and stops at Smethwicks Rolfe Street and Galton Bridge, Sandwell & Dudley, Dudley Port, Tipton and Coseley. Some services run to and from Walsall as well and are almost always delayed by a couple of minutes for one reason or another.
The train is by far the quickest and most comfortable way to get between Brum and Wolves. Although it costs more than the bus and a shade more than the Metro, it's worth it for the amount of time you save and, if you're not travelling during the rush hour, having a vaguely comfortable seat.
New Street station is a decent station, and Birmingham's second largest, after Birmingham International, which is connected to the airport.
It has 12 platforms, and trains from all over the country, and most importantly, I can get a train from Tamworth to here in 19 minutes! Whoop!
There's only so much you can say about a train station, but Birmingham New Street station is clean and well-presented. It's a little dated, but nothing compared to some of the decrepit, War-era stations I've seen in London and rural parts of the country (cough High Wycombe).
It's relatively modern, and the entrance from New Street, with all it's glass walkways and silver metal mouldings, is very chic.
There are some great places to grab a quick bite, such as the Camden Food Co (fresh, fair trade), M & S Simply Food, Caffe Ritazza and even a pub!
There is also a Burger King, if you're my husband and like that sort of thing.
It is directly across the street from The Bullring and dozens of restaurants and shops, so if you miss your train, you'll always have a nice place to get in from the rain.
There are also waiting rooms on nearly every platform, and, unlike most British railway stations, they are clean, heated and always open. Not bad for gettin' around.
Birmingham new street station needs a total refurbishment and im glad to say there are plans now in place and drawn up to do so.The problem is the infrastructure of the whole station which has not been touched for years which limits many options.
On the concourse, there are plenty of machines to buy tickets, and plenty desks to buy tickets also.
There are waiting rooms to sit down in on most platforms and also a few chairs along each one, also the screens above the steps to the platform show you the destinations and if you travelling by Virgin you will see the destination on the side of the train. The toilets are 20p but I dont mind paying that if there going to be kept clean which they are.
So nothing really different with New street apart from its a bit bleak and needs a face lift!
Its easy to get in and out of this place as it has more than one entrance to it.
Its fairly clean and well kept up, obviously they are planning to re-do the place soon, as there are no waiting areas really - how lame for a train station!
From what I've seen though, trains run on time generally and the staff are more than happy to help passengers along.
I spent a lot of time in this station at one point with commuting between Birmingham and Sheffield. It is a large station with 11 or 12 platforms so if you hear an announcement that your train is due, you have quite a way to dash to catch it!
It is always really busy and people push and shove you on the platform to get the train. It is a clean and quite modern station though and as well as plenty of ticket machines there are ticket booths. There are also shops to buy food and books/magazines and it leads to the Pallisades which has loads of shops. If you want to walk further, you venture out on to New Street, one of Birmingham's main shopping streets.
There are plenty of electronic boards to tell you when you train is due and which stops it will be stopping at.
Considering Birmingham is England's second city, the train station is one of the worst I have ever encountered.
There are often huge queue's for tickets, so make sure you factor this when trying to catch a train. The trains are often moved around from platform to platform with little or no information being given until the last minute. The information on trains arriving is tiny and hidden around a corner and doesn't even list the stops the train will make, only the destination. There is no information on train's arriving.
There are no inside waiting area's on the platforms themselves, only far upstairs near the back of the station which is pretty pointless for people wanting to sit down and wait to see the train on the platform. Again there are NO toilets on the platforms themselves only back upstairs, and don't think the price is included in your ticket, yes you have to pay to use the loo (20p piece only). In fact, there is nothing on the platforms apart from a few big metal pipes that people sit on.
One good feature is that the station is now linked up with the Bullring, good if the weather is bad outside.
In my opinon, this train station needs a complete overhaul.
Easy to get around once you have your bearings.
remember to tale the escalator to the shopping centre rather than thde main entrance. This gives better access New Street and the bullring.
Everybody complains about New Street Train Station, and on some level, I can understand why. It is a little dated, and run down, but on the otherhand it is just a train station. Nobody intends to spend hours here, unlike an airport, so surely it doesn't matter if it needs a bit of TLC.
The Station itself is in a pretty good location in the city centre; right next to the Bullring with a cut-through into the Pallasades Shopping Centre.
Trains serve most of Britain from here, and in my opinion the train staff have always been very helpful.
There is an average selection of shops to buy snacks, but with it being so close to the city centre, it isn't really necessary.
One small complaint would be, it needs better parking and more seating. At the moment it is very limited in those areas!
As a regular commuter through Birmingham New Street I can understand why people who just pass through get a bad impression of Birmingham.
The station is underground, cold and draughty and due to all the diesel trains that have passed through over the years, has a very grubby roof. However after recent improvements, the platforms are nice smooth surfaces which are kept very clean by the station staff.
Exit from the platform is generally quite restrictive, and with a full train it can get chaotic, but at off-peak times the station is easily navigatable.
Screens showing train times, arrival and departure are visible all round the station, particularly on the front concourse past the ticket barrier from the train platforms.
There is a variety of shops providing food, reading material (books and magazines), greetings cards and there is a Boots for emergency medicine supplies. However, the nearby location of the city centre means that these facilities are only really needed for those just passing through.
Fingers crossed that the current standard of service can be maintained through the planned redevelopments.
This is a big concrete nightmare, a semi-subterrean station. Descend down the grubby steps (escalators are only available to take you up and even then not to all areas of the platform) and you'll find yourself partially buried underground in a dirty, echoing concrete chamber with packed platforms, drafty waiting rooms, massively overpriced vending machines and grumpy staff. It's a nightmare.
Upstairs there's lots of overpriced coffee outlets and food outlets and it leads to the fantastically ugly and awful Pallasades shopping centre. The toilets charge but half the public don't bother as the turnstiles are low enough to jump over. If you're bored of paying for £4 cups of coffee and your train is late (and it will be) it's probably the most fun thing to sit (on the floor, there's very few seats) and watch people approach the turnstile and look around furtively to see if they dare try it - and funny if they get stuck.
Otherwise, roll on the long-overdue new station and dream of the Victorian station New St used to be which was thousand times nicer than the big pile of concrete crap they replaced it with.
I think this is one of the least user friendly stations that there are in the UK and I cant wait for it to be rebuilt quickly enough!
It's not accessible if you have mobility issues (unless you can find someone to tell you where the lift is and even then there's alot of walking involved) and it feels dated which of course it is.
I have lugged heavy suitcases up and down the stairs and been pushed about by other people when it is very busy.
However, there isnt any other choices if you have to travel from there. Just be prepared for lots of people being squashed through the barriers and up and down the narrow stair cases or escalators.
It has improved with the M&S and other nearby shops of the bullring and pallasades.
Taxi rank is not well signposted so you can end up at the head of the queue and then push your way through the crowd to get to the end. Does it sound like I'm not impressed with i?!
This station is really big. Birmingham has alot of stations but this is the main one just a minute walk from the bullring, near the palisades and near the pavilion centre. Its is a really safe station as security is very tight. They ask you for your train ticket which you used to get into Birmingham when you leave and keep it.
They have shops inside to buy food and drink, they have whsmith, costa, uppercrust. They have around 30 platforms. They are very busy and getting lost is easy as I have found. When you exit the station there is a escalator that goes up and takes you into the shopping centre or you can go outside. They have lifts but they are not sign posted but they are there.
Gets me to London from Brum, what more do I need?
I havent experienced any difficulties in finding platforms, or staff to speak to. One note i do have is the staff they have checking the tickets when you leave the station. Usually once i have had my ticket checked, i throw it back in my bag. Its just a pain to have to rummage through your bag when you have luggage and just wanna get home!
I'm a fan - or at least I will be when it's all finished. I've acquired something of a Stockholm Syndrome for this place, but there's a gritty charm to be unearthed. London Midland trains, however, are not as good.
Birmingham New Street station is transforming - even so all services remain to ensure passengers are being catered for. Choice of food, coffee outlets and shops etc.
This Station is not newly decorated but you have everything you need. The reception,Cashiers and all the employees are very helpful. There are some delays and cancellations sometimes ;however alternative options available as a follow up. The attachment to the big shopping mall is a plus.
Birmingham New Street is a train station that I have come to know very well since working in Birmingham City Centre. It is the biggest train station in these areas and one of the main links into the city centre. I am there two times a day every day and is my travel of choice and I have to say that I would rather be in this train station then any other one I have been to in the UK and this is why.
Ok so Birmingham New Street is in the centre of the city. Most train stations in the UK will be able to get you there some way or the other and when you are in the centre it is signposted well. It has a massive thirteen platforms and trains come and go all day from all over the UK.
The entrance to new street is lovely and you can see that they look after the station. There are 3 entrances to the station. The first is directly opposite the bull ring and is where all of the taxis gather and you can park your cars there. There is lots of room to park and pick people up or drop off but as I have never parked there I can't really tell you much about costs or room.
The main entrance is huge and has New street signposted in massive letters o trust me you cant really miss it. There are bus links near here too. The second entrance is actually in the Pallasades shopping centre which then links directly to the bull ring so great if you are coming to Birmingham to do some serious shopping (which often I do). It is slightly concealed entrance as you go down some escalators to get to it but this is the one that most people use. The third entrance leads you outside which is a short walk to the mailbox and a short walk to more shops again. A lot of people use this exit as it is by a lot of office buildings and provides easy access.
So basically new street is accessible all over Birmingham and provides you with great links to the rest of the city.
In the station and you will notice that it is very clean looking. There are bins around so you get no litter, all of the paintwork is nice and there is always staff about to tidy up or help if you need it.
New street has quite a few facilities when you first walk in which includes a huge WHSmiths, a burger king if you are hungry, a small café in case you fancy something other than a burger, a Marks and Spencer's food shop, a newsagents, a small shop selling food and a shop selling cards and gifts. Then there is also my favourite which is Millie's cookies as they are absolutely delicious. There are also cash machines in there in case you need them.
I suppose the main thing with a train station is getting a train and there is a long line of ticket windows for people to buy tickets. There are also fast track machines and permit to travel machines. You cannot get to the platforms if you have not got a ticket as there is a barrier stopping you. You have to show the staff there your tickets and they will let you pass into the next part of the station.
There are screens in both sections that clearly tell you the trains, where they are going, the time they are leaving and which platform to go to. Platforms are clearly signposted so you know exactly where to go and there are more screens on the platforms so you can make sure that you get on the right train. Staff is there to ask if you get stuck anyway.
Ok before you go to the platforms there are more shops in the waiting areas including another WHSmiths, a pasty shop and an organic shop. They are all yummy so I can't give you any recommendations as I would just say them all. There are toilets you can use in this section but you do have to pay 20p which I don't mind as they are nice and clean and there are a lot of them so you aren't waiting for ages.
On the platforms you will find vending machines if you want anything. Trains come and go and announcements are constantly made over the tannoy to let you know about delays or cancellations and even when trains are approaching.
I think that Birmingham new street is well run and it is nice that because it is such a big station, you will hear if there are any problems via the news, radio or internet. I like it that I feel safe because there always people around even if you are travelling late at night so I would recommend it as a station to come to if you come to Birmingham. Great links and a nice location.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. This has been posted on other sites but always by me katygriff
This is Birmingham's main station, and as such is incredibly busy. Many of its problems arise from the fact that it has outgrown itself, and there are plans for improvements which have recently been agreed.
It would be difficult to argue with the positioning of the station, which is part of the Palisades shopping centre, near to the Pavilions shopping centre and just across the road (or via a pedestrian link bridge) from the Bull Ring.
Changes were made to the shopping area a couple of years ago, and you can now find Boots, M&S Simply Food, Costa, the local transport office, a card shop and WH Smith's in the main concourse area, along with a few food outlets.
Some parts of the main area are not at all customer friendly unless you know the station. The seating in the main concourse is tucked away behind the coffee bar and is not easy to spot. The lift access to the platforms is hidden away behind the burger bar in a small passageway, leaving many passengers struggling down the narrow stairwells with their luggage. (Platform escalators always go up from the platforms only).
Works over the past two years have improved platform signage, information boards and lighting in this mainly underground station. The addition of extra platforms at the end of some existing platforms has led to a Harry Potter-esque search for the mythical platform 4c (follow the signs, I promise you it's there).
Recent improvements also include a decent organic food place (only available behind the ticket barriers).
Please note that if you don't know the station and arrange to meet someone there, there are two exits, and you will need to be clear which way you are heading.
Negatives - it has no character,platforms are cold dark and underground,wheelchair/pushchair users have to go 3 times further at points to exit the platform/get to trains than others that are able to use the steps,the staff are not the most approachable people overall and the barrier staff always seem to be very unprofessionally goofing around and shouting remarks to each other,and if you have wheel/pushchair,and want connection to/from pallasades,you have to go the long way round the outside (which isnt pleasent in bad weather)!
Posatives - trains run to/from a large area of the uk,it is ideal for the city centre for the shopping and events,there are shops around for food,drink,magazines,cards etc...so if I dont need to use this station I try to avoid it!
The whole place needs pulling down and starting from scratch. The new redevelopment is just a pathetically expensive cosmetic exercise which gives it a much bigger concourse BUT STILL NO EXTRA PLATFORM OR TRACK CAPACITY. What is the point of that? A COMPLETE waste of money and a complete WASTED opportunity to expand it properly.
There is no doubt about it - Birmingham has been well and truly short changed and continually shafted by the government and Railtrack/Network Rail over the decades. It should have a station to be proud of, instead it's got this disgrace which NO AMOUNT OF FANCY WINDOW DRESSING AT STREET LEVEL will solve it.
If this was a London station, it would have had either extra platforms/tracks or even deep level underground platforms (like Glasgow Central) built by now....but because it's Birmingham, it's been allowed to fester and become the hell hole that is has been for years now. The new station will just be fancy new concourse - the same bad layout remains beneath.
Great station and very well organised. Loved the Millies cookie shop :-)
This is a very big train station. Inside the station are a few shops and you can get in to the Bullring shopping centre. They always seem to change what platform the train arrives on. It costs 30p to use the toilets but they seem to be kept well cleaned. There are a few chairs and some vending machines on the platforms which are underground.
This station is very busy with thousands passing through daily. There are plenty of shops inside the station and many staff patrolling. To get in and out of the station you need a ticket and this can cause queues getting in but they have to do it. Sudden platform changes can be a nuisance but the information desk is always available for those of you who are easily lost/confused.
Birmingham New Street is one of the bussiest stations I have been to, the exits from platforms can sometimes become a tight squeeze, but as the station is underground, it is limited in expanding. The major issue I have as a regular commuter is platform 12a. You have to walk down to 12b to exit, and this can become very congested, maybe a new walkway at the A platform's could relive congestion for commuters, by transfering to other platforms more quickly, just like the B platforms. Overall every station is the same, but maybe more carriges n trains could help to relive the congestion on peak commuter trains.
Oh dear. For customer convenience this must rate as one of the worst stations anywhere in the country. Although I don't use New Street regularly I have had to change trains from time to time there and it's not something you can ever do quickly, easily or conveniently. Some of the problems are architectural -- the place can't have been designed to cope with the numbers of people that now use it -- but there could be some significant improvements made without rebuilding the whole place from scratch. The signage, for instance, is poor -- low ceilings mean you can't see information boards unless you're right up close to them -- and this could easily be rectified without breaking the bank. All in all, for many visitors New Street will be a sad introduction to a great city.
Busy central station which links much of the northern railways to the south via the west coast mainline.
There are always ticket collectors/checkers on the entry to the platforms and they are immensly helpful in sorting out which platform you should be heading for and then pointing you in the right direction, in common with alot of train stations these days you have to pay to use the toilets. Once through the gates there are a couple of vending machines on the platforms but nowhere to buy food or drink. In the publicly accessable areas there are a couple of food concessions and the ubiquitous WHSmiths. Ques for ticket purchases can be quite long so if possible its recommeneded that you buy ahead of time. Leaving the station I find it easier to go up in to the shopping centre and exit via the main pedestrian access as exitting via the main station access to the taxi ranks as always resulted in me getting lost.
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