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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 April 2006, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
Concerns raised at New St revamp
Impression of Birmingham Grand Central
Birmingham Grand Central is being promoted by some experts
Railway experts have warned a planned 500m revamp of New Street Station will not solve all of its capacity problems.

The current station lacks space for both passengers and trains but the redevelopment only provides extra capacity for people.

Now other projects are being promoted such as building underground or a new station in the Eastside of Birmingham.

Network Rail says the Birmingham Gateway project is the best solution and is good value for money.

Stuart Davies, a rail consultant, said: "Birmingham New Street - in terms of the number of trains handled - is working at maximum capacity.

"It's all well and good having a showpiece railway station but you've got to have the level of trains to match it below surface."

'World class city'

One plan favoured by some is to go underground such as in Zurich where a new tunnel and platforms have been built underneath the main station.

But recent studies show tunnelling beneath Birmingham city centre will cost more than 1bn so a plan to build a completely new station - Grand Central Station - is also being touted.

Colin Stewart, from ARUP Consultancy, said: "New Street is limited because of the tunnel approaches so the big benefit here is that we can bring trains in from all different directions around Birmingham into the centre."

Plans to provide extra train capacity have been drawn up according to Network Rail but not as part of the current project.

Peter Strachan, route director, said: "We believe we've got the right solution, it is good value for money and it will give Birmingham precisely what it needs - a new station for a world-class city."

City council leader Councillor Mike Whitby said the project together with other planned improvements was predicted to meet the capacity needs for the middle of the century.


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SEE ALSO:
Support for New St website urged
03 Mar 06 |  West Midlands
New Street's 500m plans revealed
16 Feb 06 |  West Midlands
City's transport under spotlight
29 Jan 06 |  West Midlands
Rail station gets festive revamp
10 Dec 05 |  West Midlands
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13 Nov 03 |  Breakfast
Revamp plans for New Street
25 Jun 03 |  West Midlands


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