In news that is unlikely to surprise anyone who has had to stumble through its dirty, dark passageways, Birmingham New Street has been named Britain’s worst railway station.
A recent survey conduced by the independent Passenger Watchdog Passenger Focus saw the Stygian station receiving the lowest satisfaction rating among passengers.
The study rated stations on criteria such as standards of cleanliness, security, helpfulness of staff, platform information and car parking – and not surprisingly, the Brummie hellhole came bottom.
Sadly, Birmingham’s 1960s concrete monstrosity replaced a truly grand 1854 station whose immense glass-covered roof drew comparisons with New York’s Grand Central (see 1885 New Street view below).
Most of the modern New Street station is underground with an oppressively low, soot-covered concrete roof adding to the claustrophobic effect.
Noxious diesel fumes waft through this unventilated area, with the sound of idling locomotives adding to the general cacophony.
And things have got even worse recently, with a new renovation being described as ‘a cross between The Krypton Factor and Logans Run’
Birmingham New St is also quite famous for its rapidly changing platform allocations, resulting in repeated mass exoduses as passengers scramble up and down escalators.
View of New Street station from the Rotunda in the Bullring.
Also languishing behind Birmingham in the list of crap stations was (in descending order) Maidenhead, followed by London Bridge, Romford, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Preston, Birmingham International, Wimbledon, and Grantham, Lincs.
The study also listed the nation’s best station, with the top slot going to London St Pancras, followed by the wonderful Birmingham Moor Street (photo below) and Heathrow Terminal 5.
Birmingham Moor Street, May 2012.
5 Comments on “Birmingham New Street named as Britain’s worst railway station”
As well as the station itself, the approach to New Street from the North (cross country) is hideously ugly, really gives a bad first impression…..
Moor Street is a delight, although the concession stands on there are very pricey.
Chiltern is probably the best way to get from Brum to London- Marylebone at the other end is none too shabby either, the fares are reasonable and the journey through the Warwickshire/Oxfordshire countryside is pretty nice too.
Can’t let this hymn of praise go without mentioning that £660M was spent on the recent ‘upgrade’ to Birmingham New Street. That gave us ONE extra platform (for trams) and the SAME old delays in and out of the Station due to…inadequate no. of platforms. To put this mis-spending into perspective, it cost around £120M by 2003 to build 4 (YES FOUR) INTERNATIONAL-LENGTH PLATFORMS WITH A CUSTOMISED ROOF at London Waterloo.
I think we currently have the worst of all possible worlds with the railways. They consume vast amounts of public money whilst being run by profit making companies.
Either re nationalise them or fully privatise them and gradually withdraw the subsidy
I completely agree. New Street is truly crap, not just for the poor architecture and shabby conditions but more so for the diabolical customer service. In my experience they change platforms with no notification and even if you ask the information desk they give you duff info, very poor.
Romford has the best station in east London…but is it the train station or the police station?
When the Lizzie Line arrives we will have a grand bahnhoff.