Half-time switch - New Street Station redevelopment update
In my preceding post in January I noted the impending switchover of concourses to allow for the redevelopment of the station to continue without disruption to passengers or construction work, New Street Station - January 2013 Update C. Network Rail have now announced the date of the switchover as 28 April 2013.
The third in a series of exhibitions on the changeover plans, showing the new entrances to the station and allowing people to ask questions to the project team, is taking place from 7am to 7pm from Tuesday 19 March to Thursday 21 March.
More information and a leaflet can be found on the newstreetnewstart website.
With the switchover of concourses Network Rail and the Mace delivery team can redevelop the old station concourse and the remainder of the Pallasades shopping centre which will become Grand Central Birmingham.
I have been fortunate, courtesy of Network Rail, to be given a sneak peek of the works to prepare the new concourse for the switchover and to see the scale of the work that will take place on creating Grand Central Birmingham and the finished redeveloped station. The scale is staggering and the space that will be created above the concourse with the light filled atrium will transform the station into a destination in itself rather than just an interchange. The scale of the works and the ability to change concourses with little disruption and noticeable change for the stations users and city residents is a credit to the project management team and the thousands of workers on site.
While the switchover will only show half the finished station it shows the ambition of the city and with the new Library of Birmingham opening later this year in September 2013 it reflects truly the city's motto Forward.
The following pictures are from 20 March 2013 and are accompanied by plans, reproduced courtesy of Network Rail for comparison, to help explain the changes. I have noted from memory information relating to the pictures so some details may be incorrect.
In many ways a station within a station has been constructed to allow work to take place on the old concourse without disrupting the new concourse. Temporary walls will allow work to take place and shield away noise and disruption.
As the station is a tale of two halves until it's completion in 2015 some aspects will remain unfinished until closer to the project completion date; the green wall on the Moor Street link will not be finished for the April handover, ticket barriers will be manned until later and access to platform one will be by stairs and lift only at the April handover.
Part of the current concourse, the current walkway between platforms, will remain open to allow access to all platforms but the escalators down to the station from the Pallasades will close with a longer corridor route to get down to the concourse from the bullring link.
Car drop off point.
This new car and taxi drop off runs alongside the new concourse with a short stay car park above it and is part of the old Pallasades car park. The entrance will be on Hill Street and you will exit onto Navigation Street. This is solely for dropping off and staff will be on hand to ensure it runs efficiently.
Moor Street Link
Running behind the Odeon cinema this link will take you from the Rotunda through the former Newt public house and onto Stephenson Street. The walling off of part of the space is to create offices for London Midland.
Looking towards the Bullring.
Looking through the tunnel section towards Stephenson Street, with London Midland Office space to the left.
Looking back the other way through the tunnel from Stephenson Street with the London Midland office space being created on the right.
New public square
Cladding continues to cover the Stephenson Street station elevation and has now reach the underside of the pedestrian footpath running adjacent to the new entrances.
Looking from the concourse onto Stephenson Street with the stainless steel ceiling.
Stephenson Street corner entrance.
The new Stephenson Street corner entrance with information eye above. The eye will display signage for New Street until the new electronic display boards are installed closer to the project completion date of 2015.
A few pictures from 7 March 2013 of the eye.
The view along the corridor towards the corner entrance from the unpaid concourse and Stephenson Street entrance. This section of the corridor runs parallel to Stephenson Street.
This route also sees a Network West Midlands information office facing Stephenson Street.
The ceiling structure.
Sloping gently towards the main concourse the unpaid concourse has retail units on the right hand side. There will be 13 units ready for the switchover with over 33 units on the finished station concourse.
The unpaid concourse leading upto the John Lewis Hill Street exit with Network Rail offices on the right hand side. The second picture shows where barriers will lead into the paid concourse, on the right hand side.
Escalator down to platform level. Facing opposite to the new lifts to the platform. With the window onto the drop off drive daylight can be visible.
Due to work taking place I couldn't see the ticket office during my tour but the image below, reproduced courtesy of Dave Harte, who has written a post on his own tour of the station prior to the switchover shows the space for the new ticket office; http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveharte/8533331669/sizes/c/in/set-72157632932816360/
Grand Central Birmingham, former Pallasades Shopping Centre.
Work is only gearing up to begin on the former Pallasades Shopping Centre but the scale of the concrete to be removed and the size of the skywell to be created above show how enormous the redevelopment project is and why it will be two more years before the station redevelopment is fully completed.
The first picture shows the former flooring which has been removed in sections. The remaining pictures show the site of the escalators that will take visitors from the concourse level to Grand Central Shopping Centre above.
For a chance to have a sneak peek at the new concourse ahead of the changeover while helping to make sure the station will be ready for the switch you can apply to take part in a trial run on Saturday 6 April. Network Rail is looking for volunteers to be take part in various exercises and provide feedback. The event will run from 09:00 to 13:00 and you are asked to commit to staying for the whole of the trial.
Places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis so if there are no spaces left you will not be able to join the event on the day.
If you would like to participate you can email your name and contact details to: NewStreetswitchover@networkrail.co.uk
Dave Harte's article, with links to his own pictures of his tour, can be found here: Birmingham New Street station – some behind the scenes photos
More information and updates on the development can be found at http://www.newstreetnewstart.co.uk