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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

New Street Station Signal Box

Birmingham New Street is the largest and busiest of the three main railway stations in Birmingham city centre, England, and a central hub of the British railway system.


The station is named after New Street, which runs parallel to the station, although the station has never had a direct entrance except via the Grand Central shopping centre. New Street is the fifth busiest railway station in the UK and the busiest outside London, with 46.5 million passenger entries and exits between April 2019 and March 2020. It is also the busiest interchange station outside London, with just over 7 million passengers changing trains at the station annually.

The power signal box at New Street was completed in 1964 on the site of the former turntable, housing the Westpac Geographical Interlocking & Signalmen's push button control panel (the largest relay interlocking in the world when installed) and also the Railway Telephone Exchange. It is a brutalist building with corrugated concrete architecture, designed by John Bicknell and Paul Hamilton in collaboration with William Robert Headley, the regional architect for British Railways London Midland Region.


The eight-level structure with five main storeys, including track & street levels and cable chamber below track level, is at the side of the tracks connected to Navigation Street. As of 2020, it is a Grade II-listed building.


2015 saw the completion of a £750 million rebuild of the station.


While there was much media attention on New Street’s rebuild, it largely escaped notice that one part of the 1960s station hadn’t been touched at all. New Street’s signal box was left well alone, and is now the most significant survivor of the 1960s rebuild of the station. That’s partly because it is not a public area, partly because it faces redundancy in the near future, and partly because (unlike the passenger elements of the station) it’s on England’s list of statutorily protected buildings. The beauty of transport





















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5 Comments


Chucks Digital Photography
Chucks Digital Photography
Aug 23, 2022

Why I love the dystopian movies that are shot in Europe. So many different buildings and structures with very and interesting architecture. Love the shots! Is the spiral staircase a fire escape?

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Gethin Thomas
Gethin Thomas
Aug 23, 2022
Replying to

Yes I think it is. It works well as a feature breaking up the horizontal lines and adding a splash of colour.

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Unknown member
Aug 21, 2022

Looks like an accordion. #4,6, 9 are my favorite.

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Unknown member
Aug 22, 2022
Replying to

Ha! Touche!!

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