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Home Infrastructure Major Birmingham New Street resignalling work

Major Birmingham New Street resignalling work

Passengers at Birmingham New Street are being urged to check their platforms throughout 2021 while major work takes place to improve journeys.

From 24 January 2021, a rolling programme of platform closures will begin as work continues to replace signalling equipment.

Starting with platform 12, the programme of closures will take place until June 2022 to install new state-of-the-art signalling which will provide passengers with better, more reliable journeys through the country’s busiest interchange station outside of London.


Services by all train operators which use Birmingham New Street – West Midlands Railway, London Northwestern Railway, Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and Transport for Wales – will be impacted by the work but a full timetable will continue to operate throughout.

Trains will arrive and leave at different platforms depending on which one is closed at the time.

Extra staff will be on hand to help passengers during the work and there will be increased signage and information throughout the station.

Dave Penney, Central route director for Network Rail, said: “We are putting passengers first throughout Birmingham New Street’s signalling upgrade by running a full timetable to keep trains moving as normal. But I’d urge anyone travelling, to make their journeys as smooth as possible, to always check which platform their train is on.

“This is a major investment in one of Britain’s most important stations and it has been carefully planned to minimise disruption. Once complete, the West Midlands will have large areas using the newest and best signalling anywhere in Britain which will help provide a safe, reliable and high performing railway for decades to come.”

Alex Warner, chairperson of the Grand Rail Collaboration, representing train operators which use Birmingham New Street, said: “A key part of delivering for passengers is for train services to be reliable and with capacity for growth. A modern, state-of-the-art signalling system is essential in delivering this.

“This investment is vital for the long-term future of the railway in the West Midlands. In the short-term, the most important thing this to manage the impact and the fact no trains will be cancelled is great news for passengers.”

Malcolm Holmes, executive director for West Midlands Rail Executive, said: “Birmingham New Street is at the centre of the West Midlands rail network and it needs the best technology to keep passengers and trains safely moving for many years to come. The industry has worked together to run a full timetable throughout this work, minimising disruption. The outcome will be a better, more reliable railway for the region.”

Signalling is the complex system which keeps trains moving safely around the network.

Most of the equipment in use at Birmingham New Street is around 54 years old and is reaching the end of its working life.

Work at the station is the final piece of a signalling jigsaw which has seen upgrades across the wider West Midlands region since 2005.

Upgrades have more recently been delivered on the routes to and from Birmingham New Street – including to Bromsgrove, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Tamworth.

Once completed in 2022, £600m will have been invested across the region.

The improvements, which are part of Network Rail’s Putting Passengers First commitment, will ensure the railway continues to be safe and reliable for passengers and plays a key role in the recovery and growth of the West Midland’s economy.

Once completed, the New Street project will have seen more than 95 separate stages of work completed during more than 750,000 hours of work.

A total of 114 signals will have been installed using more than 6.5 miles of cable.

Information about which platform is closed and which platforms trains will use will be available across the station and on journey planning websites to help passengers get to where they need to go.

Passengers can plan their journeys at or with their train operator. During the work follow @NetworkRailBHM on Twitter for the latest updates.

Photo credit: Network Rail

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