Improvement work continues around revamped Birmingham New Street station
It is now one year since the £750m redevelopment of Birmingham New Street was completed, and the station reopened to the public. Passenger satisfaction with the station has increased steadily since the redevelopment, reaching 88% at the last survey.

As originally planned, work continues on the redevelopment of the station’s 12 platforms. The last platform to be completed, platform 11, is due to reopen to passengers in mid-October. All platforms will be lighter, brighter and cleaner with more space and better access to lifts and escalators on each.

Work also continues on the southern hub, a new exit-only addition to the station which will provide direct access to Hill Street from the Navigation Street footbridge. This is due to be completed and open to passengers by the end of October. Meanwhile, the area around the station is to be developed further, including a 26-storey hotel near the station’s entrance on the Southside of the city centre.

The five-year transformation of the station itself has created brighter platforms, improved entrances to all corners of the city centre, an abundance of natural light from a stunning atrium over the huge new concourse, and a shopping and dining hub above the station which is named Grand Central.

c2c staff and volunteers transform station wasteland into flourishing nature trail
c2c-nature-trailThe wasteland opposite Shoeburyness station has been cleared of rubbish and litter by volunteers and c2c staff, and transformed into a thriving nature trail rich with fruit trees and wildlife, including the threatened bumblebee. The initiative is part of National Express rail operator c2c’s biodiversity project.

During the clear-up over 50 bags of rubbish were removed, revealing a variety of fruit trees and bushes including apple and plum trees and many blackberry bushes.

A meandering path lined with woodchips has been laid out among the trees, and seeds and saplings have also been planted. Meanwhile numerous bird boxes and bug homes made from rotten railway sleepers have been installed in the trees and along the path.

c2c worked with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Railscape and RHS Hyde Hall on the project.

New app launched to reduce risk at the platform edge
RSSB has launched a new app aimed at reducing the number of people hurt at railway stations getting on and off trains.rssb-app

The Platform Train Interface (PTI) Risk Assessment Tool is a web-based and mobile application available to download now in Google Play and the App Store. It enables users to complete assessments on the platform in real time. Information can be collated anywhere on a platform and then synchronised with the tool using a Wi-Fi connection.

A single database sits behind the tool that will capture the data, helping each company to review their PTI risk assessments and consider PTI risk across their entire operation. The information can also be collated nationally by RSSB to understand trends across the GB rail network and help to inform the approaches set out in the PTI strategy.

Assessments of risk should be carried out regularly on each of the network’s 5,000 platforms to identify areas which could pose a risk to passengers and the public. Traditionally those risk assessments have been carried out as a paper–based exercise with no commonality and little sharing of information.

Allan Spence, chairman of the PTI Strategy Implementation Group, said: “The new tool has been developed to streamline the way risk to passengers as they board trains is assessed. Preventing injuries relies on the industry’s ability to better understand what causes them. Companies managing mainline stations will now be able to share a common, transparent approach to sharing information and prioritising work to make stations and platforms even safer.”

The tool has been tested and piloted with a limited number of TOCs and Network Rail.

To obtain a login and password to the system email: enquirydesk@rssb.co.uk.