Access to one of Birmingham’s most important rail stations has been greatly improved following the opening of a second passenger entrance.
The work at Snow Hill Station has involved delicate and complex engineering to install an entrance, complete with escalators and lifts, inside 120-year-old railway arches in Livery Street.
The new entrance will also provide access to Midland Metro trams both now and from 2015 when they will no longer terminate in the heart of Snow Hill Station but instead run through the city’s streets to New Street Station.
The second entrance is an important, planned element in the regeneration of the Snow Hill area which has been establishing itself as the city’s financial district in recent years and is earmarked to expand across Great Charles Street on to land immediately in front of the new station access.
The city council has already indicated that it will allow extensive commercial activity on the land, including offices, hotels, restaurants and shops as well as residential.
The new entrance will enable people working, living or visiting the site to reach it quickly and easily by rail or Metro. It will also provide much better connectivity to the Jewellery Quarter.
Importantly, the new entrance and its lifts will improve access to Snow Hill Station for the disabled who find it difficult to use either the bridge across Great Charles Street or the subway running beneath it.
Centro’s director of passenger services, Stephen Rhodes, said: “This has been a challenging project not least because of the difficult engineering involved but it has been highly successful in overcoming these very complex structural issues.
“Essentially it has involved putting a 21st century facility into a Victorian viaduct under a live railway line and this has been achieved without any disruption to train services.
“Apart from the immediate advantages to passengers, this new entrance will help support the on-going regeneration of the Snow Hill area which has seen some major investment in the last few years.”
Alex Hynes, commercial director at train company London Midland, said: “This is great news for rail passengers in Birmingham. Snow Hill is one of our key stations and we are delighted this new entrance will provide better access and help to boost regeneration in the city centre.”