Birmingham New Street Station

Recent refurbishment of Birmingham New Street Station, concourse and platforms.

Key features




Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd


Atkins Global

Main contractor

NG Bailey


SAS Project Management

Completion year


System type

SAS510, Bespoke Metal Ceilings


United Kingdom

Product Groups

Birmingham New Street Station was originally re-built in 1967 to accommodate 650 trains carrying 60,000 passengers per day. By 2010 it had become the busiest station outside of London, operating at more than twice its intended capacity.

The first half of the refurbishment was completed in 2013. The station’s recently updated configuration should now accommodate a yearly 8.3% rise in passenger numbers.

SAS International commenced work on the three-phase project in June 2012. NG Bailey and main contractor Mace installed SAS systems across the platforms, the shopping centre and the concourse.

Full scale, physical mock-ups of the bespoke ceiling solutions were built onsite to ensure design intent prior to installation. The integration of fans for smoke extraction and complex wind loads had to be considered to guarantee passenger safety. The wind loads were a concern as trains passing platforms at speed can cause considerable negative loads.

Bespoke ceilings comprising fixed angle bulkheads were installed in line with the curving platforms. The typically trapezoidal bulkheads were bolted end to end in order to form a faceted layout to follow these curves.

Using shared data from the project’s BIM model, SAS International used a point cloud to measure the platforms and 3D model the panels. The model’s geometry revealed that the platforms were all non-uniform. This posed a significant design challenge. The data required careful analysis in order to achieve a smooth curved line within the platform edge. This was essential to provide train drivers with an unobstructed view coming into and out of the station.

The SAS International design team was able to rationalise the number of unique panel types down to four. This overcame the driver visibility issue, ensured uncompromised aesthetics and brought costs within budget. Electronic Total Station setting-out techniques were then used to set out the panels along the curve.

Systems used