“ This station opened in 1854. Currently handling about 80 per cent of the daily total services to Birmingham, the station serves over 31 million people every year. Services include long distance trains from Euston to the north, from the south and the south-west to Scotland, Newcastle and Manchester/Liverpool and the east-west services to East Anglia and through Central Wales. „
Birmingham's mail line rails station named "New Street Station" is at present undergoing a much needed upgrade. The station first openned in 1854, with the station last rebuilt in 1967. At present around 80% of the main line traffic to Birmingham comes through New Street.
The actual station is undergoing a much needed upgrade, this started in 2010. The new concourse openned in April 2013 with the development work now started on the old concourse.
The area round the station is very much a building site and as such for traveling to New Street extra time should be taken, to find your way around as the enterance has moved. When coming into and leaving the station there are passageways which while well signed are long and so be careful not to get lost.
The old main entrance on Smallbrook Queensway and the Navigation St footbridge were closed in April
When new entrances and exits openned these aare
Corner of Stephenson Stand Navigation St for Victoria Square part of Birmingham.
This is off Hill St
The Bullring bridge remains open to foot traffic. All are step-free for disabled.
If coming from either Moor Street or Snow Hill rail stations use the Stephenson Street door ways for Moor both of these stations are around 5-8 minutes walk away.
On old car park on Smallbrook Queensway is now closed. Cars and Taxi's can set down and pick up outside the entrance off Hill Street the Sat nav postcode: B5 4AH. Please note if travelling by car DO NOT go into the Smallbrook Tunnel that leads to Moor Street. This is for Bus and Taxi only there are CCTV Camera's and you will be fined!
By Bus then bus stops may be found on Smallbrook Queensway and Hill Street.
The new station for Birmingham is exciting. Care should be taken while the work is carried out when finding your way around. Best not to expect to park a car near New Street. Come by taxi, bus or local train.
Birmingham New Street is the biggest of the mainline stations in Birmingham but its very old and tired looking, very dark and dirty.
The station is where Virgin & London Midland trains run to/from London, around the West Midlands and also Cross Country run across the UK so a very busy station.
As you enter the station its rather small for the amount of passengers in the forecourt area, there is a large travel information board helping you locate which platform your train will leave from and also information on arrivals for people who maybe meeting someone off a train, this is a bright & clear board so very easy to read. There's also two double sided stands with leaflets & timetables on here along with a large travel centre if people need assistance. I didn't so didn't go in but having a quick look as I walked past it looked dark and unwelcoming.
After getting a Burger Kings brekkie, which is one of plenty of eateries and stores in the station to grab a bit to eat, a paper or drink, I walked towards the platform gates, these are old wooden doors with staff at to check tickets rather than modern automatic ticket barriers like at other mainline stations. The lady on the gate was smiling and friendly, I asked her which direction platform 3A was and she smiled and pointed me in the right direction, very friendly no problems there.
The platforms are old and dark, its down under the station that the trains go so rather dingy and misserable looking, could do with brighter lights and being cleaner, but the area was free of litter.
The station is undergoing a massive refurbishment so I look forward to hopefully dramatic change in the future.
Would use again but only if I must it wasn't a pleasant station but wasn't that bad neither.
5pm on Friday and I'm booking an online train ticket for my mum who fancies trying a long-distant train journey to return home - advertised as a comfortable, convenient and cost effective travel option - "Get where you want to be... for less". Everything went swimmingly (ticket only £35.00 which seemed reasonable for this particular part of the journey), printed the booking confirmation emails and still time for a last glass of wine whilst finishing the packing, repacking and more repacking.
Before leaving at a respectable 9am on Saturday to get to the train station on time, a last check was made to ensure mum had at least all the essentials including the printed travel information - and away we go in the car on another foggy day into the hustle and bustle of Birmingham. The heavy Saturday morning traffic into Birmingham with fog warnings and the usual morning-motor-monsters was, with hindsight, the calm before the storm.
On arrival at Birmingham New Street train station we parked up, purchased the required parking ticket and gathered all of the 'essentials' required for mum's journey. First challenge was to get to the ticket booth to collect our ticket, printed confirmation in hand, so manoeuvring around the crowds and strategically picking the queue that looked to be moving more quickly than the others, we eagerly awaited our turn to be served.
The expected, welcoming "Good morning madam how may I help you?" (with a smile) was conveyed in the way of an early morning smirk, grunt and nod, followed by a more expressive and enthusiastic shake of the head, growl and pushing back of the paper we had offered and slid expectantly under the protection glass. In an apologetic, slightly panicked response (impending train departure and three further connections at the forefront of our minds) we then asked, indeed pleaded that he read our printed piece of paper in the hope of further guidance. Reluctantly and with further mutterings, said 'train ticket booth guy' told us to 'use the machines they're much quicker than me', once again pushing back our printed piece of paper. At risk of further inconveniencing the increasingly vocal and hostile travellers in the queue behind, once again re-presenting the now rather crumpled booking confirmation email with payment details, train details, passenger details and seat number, and stating that we would like his help to provide us with instructions as to what we need to do next, a reasonable request we thought not least because of our lack of confidence in our own abilities at using the recommended machine (although now agreeing with him that it would probably have been considerably quicker). I have to admit that this is now the point at which my usual very calm and considered approach to life's little challenges started to wobble. Having now glanced at the printed offering, progress we thought, said 'train ticket booth guy' stated with some finality that it was the 'wrong' piece of paper and that there was nothing he could do apart from sell us a new ticket. Speechless for a couple of seconds and panic rising considerably, we were now clearly unsatisfied with the service being provided to us. The previous statement was reiterated - Do you want a new ticket or not? Our request now changed to demand - that he advise us how we go about finding a solution to our problem. Now fed up with our demands on his time, and in the process of clearing his desk, we were told that he now refused to serve us in any way and in fact, would not now sell us a new ticket. He then walked away. Had we had more time, it is clear that this is the moment that any fee paying passenger would have called for the manager however, time was not on our side. Mum now upset and no other option, we conceded to try out the pre-paid ticket machine only to find that the booking reference provided in the printed confirmation was one too many digits for the machine to accept. We now had only one option - to purchase a new ticket (now £45.00 for same journey). I'd like to say that this was the end of this particular journey's problems... Having settled mum onto the train and left her in her original ticket booking's seat (assuming this had already been paid for first time around), we said our goodbyes and waved as the train departed. Mum telephoned a short while later to say that the Virgin Train's ticket man now demanded that she pay an additional £10 for the seat that she had taken (and paid for) because the ticket that she was travelling with didn't allow her to sit in that seat. She tried to show him the original booking details, with the seat number listed only to be presented with the now familiar refusal to look at this now completely valueless piece of paper and respond with "You must pay or move". At this stage extremely stressed and upset, to avoid having to change seat on a moving train, with all of the baggage, mum decided to pay the additional £10.00 and looked forward to putting an end to this particular part of the journey, also vowing never to use trains again in the future.
I telephoned Virgin Trains customer relations department (tel. 0845 000 80005) to ask them about issues surrounding the 'incorrect train booking ticket'. I was advised that another email should have been sent, the booking confirmation with all of the relevant information was not good enough to present for the journey. Even though Virgin Trains did not send the 'correct' email (I checked and double checked both my inbox and junk items folder) and I was led to believe that the booking confirmation that had in fact arrived via email was the document that was required to be printed, they were completely unwilling to concede that this was their problem.
The moral of this sorry tale is to all Virgin Train users (unless you are a seasoned traveller and you know exactly what to present or indeed, query if you are not sent the relevant documentation). Expect to pay again and again - your proof of payment, proof of booking, confirmation of journey details counts of nothing. If like us, you are infrequent train users - don't if you can help it.
Virgin Trains are clearly not interested in delivering on their "Get where you want to be... for less" promise. A £35.00 Birmingham to London journey cost my mum £90.00 in the end - she could have got a Ryan Air flight to France for that. Virgin have refused to refund any of the journey, stating that it was our error to present the incorrect travel documentation.
As for the absolute plonker in booth 6 at Birmingham New Street Station (apx 10am on Saturday 20th November) maybe this level of service was because our request for help was out of his list of job responsibilities as 'the train ticket booth guy' - perhaps we should have asked the little old guy pushing the mop??
Incidentally, the continuing train journeys into France went without problem although I hasten to say that by this stage neither Birmingham New Street or Virgin Trains staff were involved.
Birmingham New Street is the main railway station serving the city of Birmingham, located smack bang in the city centre.
Originally opened in the 1840's, New Street is not as modern as you would expect for a city centre train station, however it is currently undergoing a very slow refurbishment and bit by bit you can see the huge updates and modernisation which are taking place.
The station is located underneath the Palasades shopping centre (which could do with a little revamp itself), and is accessible from the shopping centre, as well as a bank entrance just off new street, and its main entrance opposite to the Bull Ring Shopping Centre. The car park for the station is situated by the main entrance, which can be found off Holloway Circus island, however passengers can also park on the Palasades (however parking on here is pretty expensive)! The station is in walking distance from both Snow Hill and Moor Street train sations for connecting services either towards London Marylebone, Stourbridge and Kidderminster or in the opposite direction to Solihull and onwards to Warwickshire.
Within the train station there are many food and drink shops such as M&S food, Burger King, and Pret A Manger, as well as WH Smiths, a Card Store and even a Pub! There are also vending machines along the platforms.
The train station can be a little daunting due to its size, however it is very clearly signposted to each platform, and there are TV screens all around the station showing departures and arrivals. There are always plenty of staff around to ask for directions if you get lost!
Tickets are checked as you go in and out of the station so make sure you do have a ticket, or you are automatically fined.
Also something else to note you have to pay to use the toilet in the station so make sure you have a spare 20p, if you cant wait to go on the train!
There is a taxi rank located right outside the main entrance, as well as the back entrance and there is always a taxi available. Most bus stations are also a couple of minutes walk away.
Birmingham New Street overall serves its purpose as a major train station, a little outdated however hopefully you wont be spending that long there to care!
To me, Birmingham New Street train station is the same as most train stations I have been to, although I have heard it is soon to be getting a refurbishment.
Birmingham New Street is a very busy station, with masses of people, platforms and trains everywhere. It is quite a large station, and the first time I went there, I got well and truly lost looking for the way out. I have since realised that the exit is actually well signposted and I was just being my usual, silly self lol.
You can get pretty much anywhere on a train from Birmingham New Street station, and the fair few times I have been there, I found no problem with the station at all. It has always been full of people whenever I have been there, but always seems to be tidy, although it never quite looks clean. I think this is due to the age of the place, and it seems to be the general look for most train stations in England these days I have found. There has never been any litter, and there always seems to be a member of staff in sight, should you need any help with anything.
There is also security staff at the station, and CCTV cameras everywhere, so you can feel assured of safety whilst at this station. When you leave the station, you can eaily jump into a taxi should you need one, as there is a taxi rank right outside, full of black cab just waiting to take you where ever you need to go. The Bullring shopping centre is just a couple of minutes walk away, and Digbeth is right on the doorstep of the station itself.
I found the staff to be the same as on most train stations, they will help you with questions should you ask them, but they do not seem to be the happiest people around. There are self serve ticket machines at these stations that accept cash and most credit and debit cards, so if you can not get to the ticket office if it closed or very busy, you can still buy a ticket for your journey without any hassle.
All the journeys and platforms are shown on boards, so you can work out where you need to be, and each platform is clearly signposted so you can find out exactly where you need to go to catch your train.
Birmingham New Street is a good enough station, and I can not wait to see what it looks like after the refurbishment, lets hope it is worth the wait and the money that will be spent on it.
Before I get too negative about Birmingham New Street Station I should say that it is in the process of having a major refurbishment soon - it has been long overdue!
The station itself is one of three in the city but is probably the most central of them for shopping and the like and it is certainly the busiest. The station forms the lower floor of the Pallasades shopping centre and one of the exits leads customers straight out in to the shopping area. The other exit leads customers out towards the newly refurbished Bull Ring shopping centre so whichever way you choose, bring your wallet!
The station has twelve platforms with "A" and "B" areas to both, thus allowing maximum train access at busy periods. In general, the station runs pretty well, but as with all things public transport-wise, expect the usual odd delay and cancellation. Each platform has a selection of monitors informing commuters of when the next train is due and where it will be stopping. Other monitors at the entrance of the platforms give general train times.
Over the past few years the station has had an updated "big screen" display at the entrance, showing which trains are next in at each platform. Despite this being one of the newer innovations, it has an incredibly dated feel to it, looking like it was possibly "state of the art" back in the early 80's!
The station is well equipped with automatic ticket machines meaning that even at peak hours, you don't have to wait too long to buy a ticket if the queues at the manned kiosks are looking busy. Tickets are required to get through to the platforms and staff are always on hand to check tickets from those going to of from the platforms.
The platforms themselves are probably the most depressing thing about this station with them enjoying very little natural light and generally being a bit dark and nasty looking. They don't appear overly clean and just seem to make your wait for that train feel even longer. Compared to many other of the major railway stations in the country, you feel that Birmingham just isn't trying hard enough.
As I've mentioned before, the station is in a perfect spot for visitors to the city as its right in the centre. Its close to either of the other stations if your connecting train departs from there and there are numerous taxi and bus services running at either exit of the station. There is a drop off/pick up point for car drivers although there is no real parking option.
The new refurbishment promises a modern station offering natural light and attractive platforms, but just like your train may be, it is long overdue!
As has been mentioned before, the platforms in this station are seriously unsightly. I have had a lot of experience using it in the four years I was in the area. It is a pretty central station, lying in between the Manchester to London Euston line and providing a good service to much of the Midlands. It is generally well staffed and there is always some on the platform to tell you which platform to wait on or how long the journey will be. There are also a lot of ticket machines to use, so you never have to wait long to buy a ticket.
I understand the UK's public transport system is something of a shambles compared to Japan's or Germany's, but sompared to many in the UK, this functions pretty well. The station is situated in a shopping centre that connects to the Bullring. The local buses are just a very short walk away. It can be quite confusing to those that don't know the station, though.
I have travelled to this station for the first time in years with my husband and 2 children (2 and 5).
What can I say - it was fine when we arrived and we had no problems.
On the return journey it was a different matter.
Our train was cancelled and I could not believe that other than on the platforms once you have gone through the ticket check point there are no seats to sit on. The only thing you can do is go to a platform and then have no idea where your train is leaving from, sit on the floor or go into one of the pubs or cafes, or go back out. With 2 children we had to go back out to try and find seats but none were free outside. I was gobsmacked that a station this big cannot accomodate people.
When our train was cancelled the staff were really unhelpful and gave us no information at all and could not tell us if the next one would definately arrive. Really helpful!
I then had a 5 year old desperate for the toilet - we I was amazed to find that they wanted 30p for the luxury of using the toilet - I am not sure if that is each or just for my daughter. As it happened I had not change so I had to go back out into the Bullring to find a toilet - unbelieveable, and not what you would expect!
The other bug bear is the difficulty to get down to platforms with a pushchair and sleeping child. There are no lifts and no escalators only stairs. So myself and husband had to carry the pushchair down the busy stair way whilst holding onto our 5 year old - while everyone else just pushed passed us - almost knocking my daughter over a number of times. Not very safe really and I have not got any idea what happens if you have mobility issues or a wheelchair.
I know that they are rebuilding it but even so you would think that they would have modernised it before now to make it more friendly for people.
Not a pleasant experience and puts me off going back especially with young children.
When I passed through Birmingham New Street station the other day, there was a display in the concourse showing a model of the latest new and improved proposals to turn the place into somewhere vaguely fit for human beings. It looked quite nice, if indeed you like the idea of a station that's eighteen inches high and made out of plaster! But seriously, forgive me if at this point I emit some hollow laughter, as we've been here many, many times before, and at the time of writing the place is still a tip.
New Street is the largest station in Birmingham, and one of the busiest of all outside London. If you're travelling cross-country, you're very likely to have to change trains here, at least unless you've done as some of my acquaintances have and paid extra to go another way and thus avoid the place entirely! As a Midlander myself, I'm really quite embarrassed that this place is the first experience most visitors have of our region's major city.
I'll start by mentioning some of the things that New Street gets right - and yes, there are one or two! Firstly, in the last year or two it has *finally* brought in a seated waiting area reserved for ticket-holders. This area, tucked away on one side of the concourse, is actually fairly pleasant by the standards of these things. Prior to that, you had either to stand up, sprawl on the floor or brave the platform areas themselves - of which more later! If you're the proud possessor of a First Class ticket then there's an exclusive lounge just for you, but since I never travel First Class I couldn't say what it's like.
I also like the fact that ticket checks are done by people, rather than by those blasted automatic gates that get totally confused if your ticket is anything other than a bog-standard point-to-point one. Unfortunately the powers that be are obsessed with installing automatic gates everywhere to tackle fare-dodging (an aim I strongly support in itself) so it seems quite likely that before too long this annoying hurdle will await you at New Street: not so very far away at Birmingham Moor Street station, they're already installed.
Passenger information is hit and miss. A few years ago the old-fashioned clickety-click departure board over the main entrance from the concourse was removed in order to install lots and lots of adverts to annoy people... er, that is, to offer customers improved commercial opportunities. You now have to go to one of two banks of TV screens situated either side of the concourse, one of them cunningly positioned so that you cannot read it properly without standing in the way both of people going to WH Smith *and* in the way of people visiting the left luggage office or going to the taxi rank out the front.
There is an adequate range of shops and cafés at New Street - a Burger King, a cookie shop, two WH Smiths (one either side of the gate line!) a baguette place and a pub, the Shalespeare, which I've never actually set foot in. As you'd expect, most of the food is overpriced, but it's generally reasonably tasty. In the daytime you can nip up the escalator to the Pallasades shopping centre for some much cheaper fare (there's even a 99p shop if you're desperately short of cash!) but of course this option will not be open to you late at night.
Once through the gate line, you pass into... another concourse! This is actually a bridge over the tracks, but completely enclosed and completely boring. Apart from the few shops already mentioned, the only point of real interest here is that it is the location for the toilets, which now charge a slightly exorbitant 30p a time and are (the gents, at least - I wouldn't know about the ladies'!) only adequately clean and usually slightly smelly. There are also a few payphones, but the free internet terminals of a few years ago are long gone.
Down the narrow stairs to the platforms (the escalators are up only, and the lifts are hard to find) and the full grandeur of this bustling interchange awaits you. If, that is, your idea of grandeur is to be dumped out on to a cold, windy, damp, dark expanse of grey concrete with the exotic aroma of diesel filling your nostrils. It's as though this place were designed in accordance with the "1970s British Rail cliché book"! Catering is generally restricted to vending machines, and the cramped waiting rooms on most platforms are no warmer than sitting on the cold metal benches outside.
Information is actually not too awful. New Street has recently reduced the number of automated announcements (such as the infamous "please extinguish all smoking material") in an effort to get people to pay attention when something comes over the loudspeaker, and I think that does work. There are TV screens on each platform showing the next train, which are a bit small and not all that bright but at least show information continuously rather than, as at some stations, spending half the time telling you not to leave baguettes unattended. (Something like that, anyway!)
Perhaps the best thing about starting a journey from New Street is that, because it is the starting point for many trains, if you arrive reasonably early you are nearly certain to get a seat on most services. Obviously this doesn't apply if you're going to Torquay on a Saturday in August, but generally it does, and for the most part I'm willing to put up with the dismal squalor of the station in order not to have to stand up once I'm on board.
On the flip side, this busyness also makes the place very crowded at times, and this is not a station where it is at all fun to be in a crowd. It's like the world's largest subway, albeit with fewer reeling drunks and a *slightly* better smell, and it's at times like these that it becomes all too apparent that its 12 platforms are simply not enough. Unfortunately, because it is under the city centre, it would cost something like fifteen trillion times as much as the entire NHS budget to add the extra space New Street so desperately needs, and the proposed rebuilding works simply ignore the question of what happens *under* their shiny new shopping-centre architecture.
As you will have gathered, I am not a great fan of New Street station. I use it because I have to, but when put up against most other large stations - or even Moor Street just ten minutes' walk away - it's a disaster area. Ideally it would be torn down and rebuilt from scratch, but even if that's impossible could we at least have some proper lighting, a better ventilation system and a bit more comfort for those of us who are actually using the place for its apparently intended purpose? You really would think that railway users would have some sort of priority in a railway station...
Birmingham New Street Train Station is one of the most busy train stations within the UK with long distance services from Glasgow Central running all the way to London going through New Street station and this makes it an excellent train station for many people as it offers you a great point for getting connecting services to all over the country.
I have used the train on a few occassions now to travel from Glasgow down to Birmingham and found it to be a very handy train station as it is so centrally placed that you literally walk out of the station and you are in the heart of Birmingham city centre with a taxi rank right outside which offers you a great chance to jump in a taxi and head straight off to your hotel. If you are not fancying just heading straight to your hotel then just head into the shopping centre with access from the train station itself.
The station does feel somewhat dated but offers information well placed and easy for you to find and with the staff around the station being helpful and informative you need not worry if it is your first time travelling on your own.
There are numerous ticket offices around the station with automated ticket machines also on offer.
One of the great things about this train station is that it offers you a direct train connection from Birmingham International Airport so if you are flying in to Birmingham then you will still find the station very useful.
There are a number of shops, food places and a nice little pub on offer within the train station that makes it feel a little more relaxed and like an airport which I found really nice and helpful in keeping me from stressing about my long journey ahead.
- Well laid out train station
- Centrally located
- Excellent staff
- Good information availability
- Shops, food places and pub on offer within the station
- Good ticket buying facilities
- A lot of steps within the station to get to your platforms so if you struggle with mobility allow time for this
- A dated feeling train station
The train station is a very central one that offers a good amount of information, excellent staff and good facilities.
I have only used this station once. It is abit unclearly signposted for the exit. First you have to walk past a load of shops inside the station, and I was like, how do I get out? I don't know Birmingham that well so was relying on a friend's directions! The good thing is that it's probably safe to use at night. I think it is always manned, it was when I was there at 9.30pm. It serves Cross Country, Virgin Trains and London Midland. If you want to go to Euston (which is the station I would recommend if you're going to London, I think you can go to Malyborne but it's longer) then I recommend Virgin rather than London Midland. It doesn't call at so many stops, and may go a shorter route as well. Plus the trains they use are nicer - but see a review on Virgin Trains for that. When I was at Euston station I couldn't believe there was an LM train leaving earlier, arriving in New Street later, and using a local train, the same ones they use for Stratford-Moor Street! So it may not even have a toilet on it! Location - it's within walking distance of Broad Street for the bars and clubs. Also, as the name would suggest, in walking distance of New Street, where there are many shops. The Bull Ring may be a little further, Moor Street is best for this.
As someone who has used Birmingham New Street for over a decade now, I thought it would be useful to say a thing or two.
Birmingham New Street does have a reputation for not being the most pleasant of stations to look at. This is, however, only true for the actual platforms themselves, and that is only due to it being situated underneath the main 'station' area. (Lots of pipes, noises, grit on display)
The station is well laid out with a variety of shops and eating areas (even a pub) on both sides of ticket checkers. There are numerous ticket desks as well as a few automated response machines so, even when busy, you don't usually have to queue for that long. In my experience the staff have been friendly and helpful and there is also a help desk where you can enquire about where to go as it is a big station and used as the calling point for LOTS of destinations. In the main area there is a huge electronic board alerting pasengers to arrivals and departures. There is also a large TV that often streams the News.
New Street will take you north to places such as Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow, as well as more local places such as Nottingham and Coventary. South, you can pass through Peterborough, Milton Keynes and eventually London (calling at Euston) There also numerous local lines, connecting all over Birmingham.
There are three exits, two large and one small. The first main entrance is on the 'ground floor' as it were, just past the WH Smiths. This leads out to carpark where you can see the BullRing clearly and is an easy destination to get to. There is also an exit on the other side of the ground floor which leads to the same car park, and thus I classify it as the same 'exit.'
Upstairs, past the various shops that include a Subway and Game, you are lead to a ramp which goes down pasr a McDonalds and into the heart of New Street; here you can turn right to go to the bullring, forward for bustops and shops, and left for more shops as well as leading eventually to Broad Street.
The final exit is a small rear one that leads onto a hill that follows up to a big fountain.
New Street Station is very good with delays and platform alterations. They are announced clearly and loud, as well as ususally being relocated to the nearest possible platform.
Security is also very good as trains run for most of the day. You will often see police officers patrolling around the station. I have also found that the station has worked on hygiene standards a lot over the years - the level of litter has dropped significantly.
Overall, the station is very reliable. I have never really had any problems, other than the prices of some of the shops being a tad expensive. If you have to call here or stop off for an change, feel free to explore the rather large variety of shops it has to offer.
I'm not really sure what else you can write about a railway station to make it interesting, but it is one of my favourites.......
Birmingham New Street station to me seemed like a wonderful underground series of caverns.
I've been through it many times and I've stopped there on many occassions.
As a student in Coventry during the late 80's I had to change trains everytime I went there or came back. It serves journeys to the north (Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Preston) and Scotland, the South (Bristol, Plymouth, Penzance and even places like Southampton and Bournemouth) and London Euston.
The station is a strictly no smoking zone, which is understandable with the vast array of tunnels of which it is comprised.
Above the station, was the bull ring and pallasades, both of which to me offered very good shopping expereinces.
New Street does not offer a full range of locations and on one occassion I had to walk what seemed a bit of a hike to Snow Hill for a connection to Worcester.
Birmingham New Street platforms are all underground and there are lifts and escalators available for all platforms.
There are a number of phones located towards the entrance and good toilet facilities. There is also a cafe available, although only a short walk out of the station, there are a good range of facilities.
I love New Street, and it always gives me a kind of satisfaction when I leave. The only bit I always find an issue is that I go in one way and then it seems like I'm reversing - I hate travelling backwards! Oh, and I never seem to be able to find a seat - which as most of my trains were late by more than 20 minutes was a serious issue.
Birmingham New Street Station is situated in the heart of England's second city. The ticket area is large and airy with plenty of seating, shops and cafes, much as any large train station.
When you pass through the ticket barrier (which is always manned) you find yourself on a long concourse. To get to each platform you must go down a flight of steps that leads from the concourse. Each set of steps is numbered the same as the platform it leads to. From one of the 12 platforms at New Street, you can catch a train to almost anywhere in the country. It is one of the largest train stations in the country and thousands of passengers pass through it each day.
Unfortunately the station is not really designed for passengers! Changing platforms is a nightmare. You are standing on platform 6 waiting for your train, which is on time according to the electronic boards. Another 30 minutes and you'll be home having a nice cup of tea - dream on! A muffled announcement over the Tanoy System "the train now pulling in to platform 8" is the train you need. Woe betide if you've got shopping or luggage.
You dash up the thirty or so stairs to the concourse hope you are going the right way for platform 8 run down the thirty or so steps to platform 8 just in time to wave to the passengers on your train. I understand that there are lifts on the platforms (I must have sleep walked past them) but I have only actually seen one lift and it is nowhere near the platforms or concourse.
You can do just about anything at Birmingham New Street Station, shop, eat, book a holiday, it just best if you can avoid catching a train there. When you arrive in Birmingham New Street you are in fact under one of the cities many shopping Arcades the Palisades. You can then emerge on to Corporation Street and shop till you drop or eat till you pop.
The train station was built in 1854 . At that time it was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Rail system. The old girl has carried on since then it's not surprising then that she's sufferd from wear and tear. The whole station is due for a major rebuild called Birmingham Gateway this is scheduled for opening in 2014 let's hope it's not delayed by the credit crunch.
Birmingham New Street has a reputation for being ugly. And quite rightly so. Birmingham New Street has a reputation for being inefficient. Wrong. I have used New Street on a very regular basis for work and have very rarely had problems with trains, which ultimately is the fault of the service provider as opposed to the management of the station. I recommend people to use New Street as it is in fact simple to use, particularly thanks to the frequent and well times announcements that contain the right amount of information to assist travellers. With 3 exits, it is very easy to use the station to reach the City Centre and there are plenty of shops in the station's complex. It is well staffed, with plenty of people on security, often including police as a precaution. The weakness though is that there is a charge to use the toilets. This itself has advantages though; the quality of the facilities can be better maintained which is important for such a public place.