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Issue 1

Station News New Street History Staff Feature Competitions The New “New Street”





All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright owners. every effort has been made by the publishers to ensure the accuracy of this publication; the publisher cannot accept responsibility for the errors or omissions. in the interest of independence and impartiality,many features in this publication have been written by third-party experts. Any opinions expressed therein are views of the writers themselves and not necessarily those of New Street View.


New Street View is a topical Newsletter that covers all areas of staff life


ew Street View is a topical Newsletter that covers all areas of staff life from work to play to social life. Its surprising how many staff do very interesting things outside of work. Working for cross country Trains we have a Premiership Linesman, For Virgin Trains we have a Motor Racing Driver and for London Midland we have a Ghost Hunter. In this Newsletter we plan on finding out a lot more about these people. It may surprise you that there are well over 1000 people that work at

to themselves. BTP will inform us of their role on the station, from helping vulnerable people on the station, dealing with crime or policing football passengers. The Gateway have a regular 2 pages, this will give us an idea of what is happening to the station over the next 2-3 years. The redevelopment over the last 2-3 years has been dramatic, transforming the station from a car park to its existing package. The station now includes bright new retail premises to match any other in the country. A bright new design like no other now gives Birmingham a state of the art building, but its not finished yet. The old concourse is being It may surprise you that there are well transformed as we speak with over 1000 people that work at New Street brand new shops, entrances, and Station, not including those that will be in- a new Atrium. This is a huge glass roof to comtroduced at the new John Lewis. plete the roomy look to the station. New Street Station, not including All this will link up with the new those that will be introduced at the “Grand central Shopping centre�, again, transformed from the Palnew John Lewis, so its only fair that we try to introduce as many of lasades shopping centre. Birmingham will have a not just a these people as we can. This station but a brand new complex Newsletter will give us some to make us all proud. Links to shocks and surprises about the Moor Street and Snow Hill will people that we work with. open the station up to the city, and Watch this space....... make future generations proud of In this publication, British Transport Police have a regular 2 pages the building that we work in.


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Saving lives through research, information, awareness and policy 01252 749043 Š The Brain Tumour Charity 2013. Registered Charity no. 1150054 (England and Wales) SC042096 (Scotland)


I’m sure many of you will still a station undergoing have seen the numerous major construction works. press reports around the This means we have lots latest National Passenof noise, dust, leaks etc. ger Survey results placIn addition you will be ing New Street at the aware of the platform bottom of the pile. This crowding problems we has been disappointing have whilst all of our vertinews for us all given the cal access is concentrated exceptionally hard work at the B ends of the platyou all put into running forms. We also need to this station each and be mindful that when the every day. There was surveys were conducted certainly an expectation (September to November) within the business that we were experiencing lots WE ARE STILL A following the switchover of train service cancellato phase 1 of the new STATION UNDERGOING tions. When you take all station that passenger of that into consideration MAJOR CONSTRUCsatisfaction would inthe fact that we even got a TION WORKS. THIS crease. 4% increase in overall satMEANS WE HAVE LOTS isfaction is a great The National Passenger Survey is an industry OF NOISE, DUST, LEAKS achievement. tool that measures how Furthermore, and most ETC. happy people are with importantly, the number of their experiences both on passengers rating the way trains and at stations. It is widely actheir request was handled by staff as eicepted that survey results can be driven ther good or very good is 84%. This is by train service performance and other direct reflection on all of you and somefactors such as over-crowding. For exthing you should be proud of. ample if St Pancras station (which is In summary whilst the NPS scores are normally top of the survey results) had a important to the industry we need to sustained period of poor train service take into account factors outside of our performance their scores would go control that have adverse effects and down regardless of how nice the envibear in mind that if you weren’t all doing ronment might be. a wonderful job the overall score would When we take that into consideration be an awful lot lower than it was. and look at New Street we need to conRegards sider that whilst the concourse environment has been greatly improved we are

Steve Lewis

Birmingham New Street Station is undergoing some serious re-development at present, the work taking place has never been done before. The Station itself has been open throughout the construction process therefore has had to overcome some serious obstacles. Passenger movement, health and safety, over crowding, service information, these are to name a few. When reports are published they often do not tell the whole story, although people will often read the headlines and look what is behind the story. While Passenger Surveys are vital, New Street Station is a bit different. I asked the Station Manager Steve Lewis for a response to an article that was published in a local newspaper recently. (below is the link to the article) tains-worst-6594806


Stuart Rodgers of London Midland, an RPI at New Street has a hobby that people find hard to believe. He is actually a ghost hunter, whether you believe in spooks or not, it is still a thriving opportunity to see what it is like on the other side. That belief in what goes on, and the thrill of seeing a ghost keeps people hooked. Stuart looks at websites that have recorded sightings of things that have happened, the site publishes venues, and that’s where the hunt begins. Stuart and his wife, Bonnie begin the journey with others on the hunt for ghosts. Places such as Bodmin, Evesham and Leicester are the places they have gone in recent times, along with Pendle Hill Witches. Stuarts journey began as a pure sceptic at an old train station in Leicester, stood there with a crowd and felt that something had walked past him. He realised that everyone was accounted for and the only plausible explanation was something from the other side. Stuart

Stuart Rodgers Ghost Hunter

quickly became a believer and for the last three years has seen himself go on regular hunts a group of Ghost Hunters. Stuart can set his sights on Birmingham New Street Station as there are many reported sights of the spooky kind. It was reported that platform 4 waiting room is haunted, 68 year old Walter Hartless passed away some 75 years ago but is reported to be walking down the platform when all have gone home, leaving the night shift staff wondering whats round the corner when they leave their office. Walter, who shot himself in the chest is joined by claude who poisoned himself. Both are said to walk the platform during the night as lost souls. When the station was built in 1848 part of a Jewish cemetery was dug up to make way for the building. Perhaps Stuart should organise a ghost hunt of New Street on his own working soil, maybe he might just be in for a surprise………

STATION NEWS Westwood, Network Rails leadership Development centre in coventry is closed for a period of four months for refurbishment. Some of the staff were invited to put forward some suggestions as to where they wanted to work within Network Rail. Some of them chose Birmingham New Street Station. As most of them chose the station due to its location, quite close to their home, it was probably the fact there are so many here changes here at the station – it has proved to an inviting place to work where many try to gain employment here. They began their time here in January, working in customer Services giving out train information and answering enquiries. The team suggest they have been made very welcome by the existing staff and hope they have made a difference. Apart from the cold weather they are all enjoying their time here. The team from Westwood are a closely knit team who get on with everyone and have become very adaptable to the surroundings.

Westwood Complete Volunteer Work At New Street Station

The Way of The Roses Cycle Challenge coulton and Jon Puron the 3rd-5th June Paul shouse are participating in a

bike ride for cancer Research, 17o miles from Morecombe, Lancashire, to Bridlington in North Yorkshire. Paul has experience with a previous bike ride last year – from Whitehaven, West coast in cumbria to Wearmouth on the east coast. Paul’s interest in cancer Research came when he lost his Brother to cancer three years ago. Paul individually raised £1,100 last year but as a biking group raised just under £9,000. If you wish to donate any money to this charity and help Paul and Jon on their way please click on the link, your support would be gratefully re-

ceived. Pauls txt code is TFAL63 10 to 70070 to donate £10 for example, Jon's is EkIB76 10 to 70070 donations must be in full pounds and are added to your next phone bill or comes off their available credit. Please let everyone know that all donations will go directly to the charity as all riders are bearing their own expenses.

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In Safe Hands is a book by Colin Abbott recalling Nigel Sims’ Vivid football memories. From his start at Coton Swifts as a youngster, then at Stapenhill FC before signing professional terms with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1948. Nigel stayed at the Wolves for eight years making 39 appearances as understudy to Bert Williams. However his next move was the one that defined his career. In March 1956 Eric Houghton – himself an ex-Villa legend, signed Nigel for Aston Villa FC. He was an immediate success being part of the 1957 FA Cup winning team. Nigel stayed at Aston Villa until the end of the 1963/64 season making 310 appearances, picking up a Second Division championship medal as well as a ’61 League Cup winners tankard and League representative honours. In the summer of 1964 he played for Toronto city in the Eastern Canadian Professional Soccer League under manager Malcolm Allison, before returning to Peterborough United for a short spell between September and December ’64. Nigel then emigrated to Canada a few years later playing for Toronto Falcons and then Toronto Italia.

Colin’s book is a fantastic read, not just for Villa fans but for anyone with a passion for the history of football. Colin writes as somebody who truly cares about the subject, and that comes across as you read the book. Paul Faulkner Aston Villa CEO

If you want your monthly dose of Villa news, interviews, features and more - ensuring you don’t miss an issue then subscribe today and get The Villa Times delivered to your door.

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Seventh Heaven, Aston Villa’s Victorious ’57 Cup Campaign tells the story of the Villa’s journey from the glue-pot pitch of Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road in the 3rd round, to the place lawn pitch of the Wembley Empire Stadium for the final. Ably assisted with the personal accounts and memories of the surviving players of that record breaking side, Nigel Sims, Jackie Sewell, Stan Crowther and Peter McParland, together with the scrapbooks and albums of other members of the ’57 side, which form part of the vast collection of fellow Villan’s Mick Tilt and Jon Farrelly. With relevant extracts from the Football Club’s official Boardroom minutes, it all combines to take fans on a nostalgic and wonderful trip. A unique, rarely seen insight into one of Aston Villa’s most illustrious occasions.

Colin’s second book “Seventh Heaven’” - Aston Villa’s Victorious ’57 Cup Campaign was recently requested by the Bodleian Library Oxford University, Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin. It’s a huge honour that his book has found it’s way into institutes of such repute and we hope that this latest publication follows suit.



Birmingham New Street, a railway in the heart of the city, was first opened in1884. The station was built as one of the initial aims of the newly formed London and North Western Railway (LNWR), to be closer to the mail administration and commercial centre of the thriving city. The LNWR, until 1846 known formerly as 2 separate companies, the Grand Junction Railway and the London and Birmingham Railway, operated their train services to a station at curzon Street from its opening in September 1838. An Act of Parliament passed in 1846 granted authority to the LNWR to build the station. Written within the Act was a public right of way through the station to compensate for the removal of two streets to make way for the station. This right of way was maintained until the opening of the new concourse in April 2013. A local businessman, charles Shaw, known to have links with a rival railway company, voiced their opposition to the building of New

Street in the name of public order, claiming that the area was of the most undesirable areas of Birmingham and well know for law breakers and pick pockets. The demolition of the buildings on the site of what would be Birmingham New Street started in 1846, and included three chapels. The demolition and construction cost £500.000 and took nearly 7 years to build. Birmingham New Street was officially opened on June 1st 1854. At this time the station roughly occupied the same area as platforms 1-6 as we see it today. The station was further extended in the 1880’s to accommodate the Midland Railway (MR). This occupied the area that platforms 7-12 cover now. By 1916, 700 trains a day and 20 million passengers a year were using the station. In 1923, the two former Railway companies at New Street, MR and LNWR became the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). Nationalisation in 1948 would see the big four disappear,

and appeal under a new and now familiar name, British Railways. By the mid 1930’s, 25 million were using New Street every year, travelling on 3,000 trains every week which conveyed 30 million parcels and packages a year. New Street also handled a considerable amount of freight with trains arriving in the area occupied in the Hinterland area which is now the John Lewis development. Wartime, especially World War 2 brought major challenges to the railway. New Street experienced the evacuation of children away from the city on special trains to the safety of the country and structural damage during the Luftwaffe air raids. considerable damage was caused during an air raid on 26th October 1940, leaving the station closed for 24 hours. Damage to the large glass roof during WW2 would result in the structure been removed altogether by 1950 due to it being unsafe. It was decided that New Street would be rebuilt. Work on the demolition started

and rebuild started in 1964, starting following recommendations. A new from Station Street and platform 12 outer concourse was opened in the side of the station, and finished in mid 2000’s, occupied by Marks & 1967 at a cost of £4million. Train Spencer’s, Boots and Excess Bagservices, as with the present congage. struction continued running throughThe new station does however out the rebuilding phase. see one step back in time to the old Platform numbers, not just A and days, and that is the return of the B ends have always been a conannouncers to their original home. tentious issue at the station, so In 1935, the first tannoy system was imagine the passengers confusion set up in an office on platform 1. At in October 1964 when the platforms that time, New Street was one of the on the station were re-numbered, first mainline stations in the country with the then platform 1, a complex to adopt this new way of communiof bays and a through platform, cation and information disseminabeing split into 5 separate platforms. tion. The announcers at the time This was just part of the changes. were not specifically trained but well until the opening of the present con- spoken men from the railway, with course on 28th April this year, the the first women announcers projectstation has remained relatively uning their voices during WW2 in changed from the 1967 opening. 1941. The only changes of note being the At the time of this publication the upgrading of the concourse flooring new station is only half way through and platform surfaces, removal of its construction. New Street View the ticket barrier booths, and the ad- will endeavour to cover the rest of dition of Bridge 1c. The addition of the story to the opening of the old smoke lobbies at platform level was concourse and it’s joining of the added in the early 1990’s following present one we inhabit. The new the kings cross fire enquiry and the station will again create its own bit

of history and emerge from its run down past to a huge open plan complex that Birmingham can promote and be proud of. Andrew Smith (Network rail)


THE GATEWAY PROJECT After over three years in the making, the first half of the new concourse at Birmingham New Street station has been open since April 2013 as the first phase of the major project to transform the station completes. A team of over a thousand staff worked on site around the clock to create the new station, which is already one and a half times larger than the old building, offering passengers a better environment and experience for their journey. An army of volunteers from Network Rail and the Train Operating companies were all around the station for a month after opening helping passengers find their way to, from and around the new concourse in the initial transition phase. This is the first major change to New Street in over 40 years, with the station being named as one of the most hated buildings in the country in more recent years as a result of it being too dark, over-crowded and difficult to get

Also part of the next phase is the redevelopment of the Palisades’ shopping centre above the station into Grand Central.

around, especially for people with reduced mobility. The opening marks a significant milestone in the overall redevelopment, with everyone using or working in the station now having somewhere to be proud of as the gateway to the city and the West Midlands. The next phase of the redevelopment is now well underway with the old concourse being transformed and the giant atrium constructed that will enclose the station and let natural light fill the building once complete in 2015. Also part of the next phase is the redevelopment of the Palisades’ shopping centre above the station into Grand central. The centre will provide 200,000 sq ft of retail space for over 40 new premium fashion and lifestyle stores and more than 15 new concept cafes and restaurants. The

centre will be anchored by the 250,000 sq ft John Lewis department store and will be the largest outside of London. There will be new entrances connecting people across the city, better access around the concourse and platforms, new public space and jobs for local people. The stainless steel panels that have already started to be installed on the North West side of the station will wrap the whole station, changing the face of New Street forever and adding another building to the city’s growing reputation for good design. Passengers have been overwhelmingly positive about the new station and reacted well to the new changes with excitement now building for when the redevelopment completes in full in 2015. After a recent walk around the new side of the station, John Lewis, The new Grand central Shopping centre and of course the Station and its Atrium, I was astonished. Breathtaking scenery, unbelievable architecture to rival the very best in the country, and yes it is in Birmingham. It is the heart and soul of the country with a Train Station to be proud of.

The engineering that has gone on and is still going on is tremendous. The open space of John Lewis is still in a concrete state, but you can now see its overwhelming place above the new construction of the station. The store, all 250,000 square feet of space will create 650 jobs and sell over 350.000 products. The store will anchor the New Grand central Shopping centre, formerly, the Palasades Shopping center. It was strange walking around the new centre, for many years Argos has stood there with shops closely adjoined to it under cover, and above the station. Now it’s a big empty space ready for its new arrival of shops and bars to rival any in the country. The centre will adjoin the station and John Lewis to be close neighbors, entrances will link to other parts of the complex as a whole. This newsletter will give regular updates with articles and pictures. A time line of information will be formed as you can see by the first pictures taken by me.

Things to do in Birmingham Birmingham hosts a vast variety of entertainment and events which attracts thousands of visitors each year. Whether you're looking for a breath of fresh air or to simply experience the hustle and bustle of city life, Birmingham has it all. Here is a list of the top attractions

Millennium Point

Cadbury World

National Sea Life

Opened in 2001, the Millennium point has outstanding architecture and design which attracts millions each year. It is a host to many popular attractions including the National Educational centre, Imax cinema and Think Tank science museum. The nearest station is Moor Street which is a 10 minute walk away. New Street Station and Snowhill are a little further away and will be approximately a 15 minute walk

Every chocoholic's dream come true. An exciting chocolate funfilled world suitable for people of all ages in need of a sugar rush. A day full of lots of chocolate filled activities. Learn about the history, how it is made and of course polish up that sweet tooth for demonstrations. The nearest station is Bournville Station (you can connect from New Street station) and is a 15 minute walk.

Eve r y Exp l o r e l i fe u n d e r w a te r a t th e i n cr e d i b l e Se a L i fe ce n tr e w h e r e yo u ca n g e t a cl o se r p e a k a t th e l i fe u n d e r th e se a . Wi th a 4 D ci n e m a , i n te r a cti ve r o ck p o o l , u n d e r w a te r ta n k a n d fe e d i n g d e m o n str a ti o n s th r o u g h o u t th e d a y th i s i s g u a r a n te e d to m a ke yo u r d a y b e g i n w i th a sp l a sh ! Th e n e a r e st sta ti o n i s N e w Str e e t a n d i s a 1 5 m i n u te w a l k.



There are a lot of organisational changes at New Street station at the moment, because of this, we require staff from the cRT and cSA teams to step forward and become representatives with the RMT. union issues are vital to the staff at the station, but at present are under represented by the staff. We are calling for you to give your experience and time for this. If you have wanted to get involved, now is the time to do so. With so many changes at the station it is a very exciting time, you can help the staff move forward in so many ways. We will also require a new Health and Safety representative to work along side Stephen Alder (the current rep) from these teams. For further information on becoming a health and safety rep please contact either Stephen alder on or your RMT branch secretary.

New Street Metro

Within Birmingham there are three main stations, Birmingham New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill Station, all within the city centre. At present any passengers wishing transfer between New Street and the other two face a 10-15 minute walk. currently the Metro (tram service) operates between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton. currently under way is an extension that will lead from Snow Hill and run 0.7 miles and link up to Birmingham New Street Station. At a cost of £75.4M the new route will run on to Bull Street and down corporation Street and then onto Stephenson street to link up with the new entrance of the station. There has not been a tram in the city centre since 1953, but will be well worth the wait.

Expected to be opened in 2015 the project is expected to raise £50m per annum to the local economy and create 15oo jobs. The extension will be a great benefit to the passengers of New Street; they will not have to make the walk from station to station. A new fleet of Trams will be introduced to cope with a large number of passengers; around 200 people can be carried on one service, seating 50 of them. There will also be 2 wheel chair spaces. The link will also add to the redevelopment of the station with an extra boost to the city centre, it will open the city so people can travel from one corner of the city to the other with ease. The New Street View Newsletter on a monthly basis will feature updates on the progress with pictures.

Out and about at Sutton Coldfield Train Station Sutton coldfield Train Station was built in 1862 and is 7.5 miles from Birmingham city centre. It was the terminus from Birmingham until 1884 when it was extended to Lichfield. From 1978 the station was known as part of the cross city Line, although there were plans to demolish it until campaigners saved the day. In 1955, the station became well known for a train crash that killed 17 people and injured 43, still Birmingham’s worst ever train crash. A York to Bristol service which was carrying 300 people was diverted via Sutton due to maintenance work, turned a bend too quickly which resulted in ten carriages overturning.


Open Door means Open Questions

Health and Safety Sharps/Needles Front line staff are at risk from a lot of things but receiving a sharp or needle stick injury from carelessly discarded sharp or needle can be very distressing for its recipient. used needles are capable of containing blood borne viruses that may infect through accidental injection. Avoiding inadvertent contact with these items is paramount. For station staff on or about the front line, ensure that the needle does not pose a risk to the public, if it

does then either place something over it to protect it or seek assistance from another member of staff to watch over the needle. This will prevent any other person coming into contact with it. When the area is protected you should call for a sharps container to be bought to the scene, Initial cleaning Services should then pick the needle up with special equipment. They will then dispose of it in an allocated space.

Welcome him back to work Connections

chris Mason a respected and valued member of staff, we would all like to welcome him back to work in connections after 3 months off having a hip replacement. chris has stated that he is better off after the operation but for the first few days was

very sore. He is now raring to go and looking forward to getting back to his normal customer service role. While off work chris also celebrated his 60th birthday, so happy birthday from all at New Street View

As you aware the whole of the station is changing, to run along side this there is a new management structure. If you are nut sure what the structure is or if you have any burning questions on the issue and want to know how it affects you now is your chance to have your say. The new team, Steve, Abdul, Simon, Pat and craig invite all Station staff to an open forum on Wednesday 26th March in the staff offices. The doors will be open all day for staff. The team want to hear any ideas that you have that you want to be implemented, or any changes that you may want to see. Open Door means Open Questions.


In order to get discounts at retailers on the station make sure you apply for your BITE card. Go to and register for your card. You will get 20% discount at upper crust, The pasty Shop, Delice de France, camden Food, Burger king and many others




We are very well established portrait photographers that concentrate on smiles and a refreshing outlook that you can see through images. Based in South Birmingham we take Portraits of the highest standards from child portraits to full individual portfolios. Work is usually carried out at my home, this is where there is no time limit on the shoot, the emphasis is on getting what is right for you. Work for publication can be completed with a request.

School Photographs Family Portraits Events

07539 934 005

Call Adrian on or email

COMPETITIONS MI cASA is part of a group of retail units on the station run by Select Service Partners, the other units include Starbucks, The Pasty Shop, upper crust, camden Foods, basically all of the catering on the station. Mr Abe was keen to promote special offers such as a Burrito Breakfast and coffee for just £3.00, also a Burrito and beer for £10.00. MI cASSA is certainly not your average catering unit, it is different to what you normally expect on a station and having tried the Burrito myself is very nice and would recommend it. The warm welcome from the shop is excellent, the staff and management are knowledgeable in what they sell and are keen to impress. Management also want to make New Street Station proud in what they do. Asking Mr Abi what his objectives are, he replied, “we want to look after the passengers of new street and of course the staff, we believe we provide something different on the station. We prepare food in front of you to enjoy. Passengers are our guests and that’s how we treat them – enjoy our food”. MI cASSA is definatly one to try, its different, refreshing and is good for New Street Station

MI CASA Burrito’s, Salads, Nacho’s, and licenced to sell beers

WIN A BURRITO AND A BEER 1. What is the first passenger train that departs New Street Monday to Friday ?

2. How many different platforms at New Street are there ?

Attempt the questions, the winner will receive a £30:00 gift voucher for W H Smith – good luck

3. How many train movements are there a day Monday to Friday ? A .800- 1000, B 1000-1200, or c 1200-1400 ?

4. How many TOcS operate out of New Street ?

5. In which year did the iron black horse appear down on the platforms?

6. In which year did New Street open for the first time ?

7. How many different passenger entrances & exits are there? 8. How many trains to London Monday to Friday leave New Street? A 45-65, B 66- 76, or c 77-87? 9. How many passenger lifts & escalators are there here at New Street? 10. Which retail unit shares the same name as a Town in London?

Please email with your answers.The winner will be drawn at random and will win a £30.00 gift voucher

New street view layout 1  

New Street View Magazine with features on Birmingham New Street station and the people who work there.

New street view layout 1  

New Street View Magazine with features on Birmingham New Street station and the people who work there.