Birmingham New Street station Sep 2015

UK rail infrastructure operator Network Rail has opened the redeveloped Birmingham New Street station for passengers.

The £750m refurbishment has seen the construction of a new concourse, Grand Central shopping complex and a huge atrium that allows natural light into the station.

According to Network Rail, operations at the station were not affected during the five-year construction, with no inconvenience caused to the passengers.

Around 170,000 passengers use the station every day. The new station has a capacity to handle up to 300,000 passengers a day.

The refurbished station features brighter, de-cluttered platforms, improved entrances, new facilities and natural light over the new concourse.

It is the first major construction project on the Birmingham New Street station since it was redeveloped in the 1960s.

Opened in 1854, New Street station featured the largest iron and glass roof in the world.

"The new station shows we are delivering on our long-term economic plan for the region."

Redevelopment was carried out in 1967 as the station was damaged during World War II.

New Street Station is the largest of the three main railway stations in Birmingham. It is the busiest outside London and the busiest interchange station in the UK with a train leaving the station every 37s.

Chancellor George Osborne said: "This £750m investment to modernise Birmingham New Street station is at the heart of our plans to use the power of infrastructure to build a more healthy, balanced and productive economy right across the Midlands.

"We are committed to build the Midlands engine, set to boost growth by attracting local jobs and investment and the new station shows we are delivering on our long-term economic plan for the region."

As part of the upgrade, 36 new escalators and 15 new public lifts have been added to travel between the concourse and the platforms.

More than 6,000t of concrete has been removed to allow light to fall on to the new concourse.

UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "The transformation of Birmingham New Street is a prime example of how our record investment in the railways is improving journeys for hardworking people and helping to rebalance the economy by driving growth across the country."

Throughout the project, 10,000 lorry journeys have been saved off Birmingham’s roads by using trains to transport waste material.

More than 3,000 construction jobs were created during the project.

Network Rail CEO Mark Carne said: "As the UK’s second city, Birmingham deserves a station of this calibre and, along with Grand Central, the investment we have made will help support the local economy and regenerate large parts of the city centre."

Image: Birmingham New Street from the top of the Rotunda. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.