University railway station (England)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

National Rail
University railway station, Birmingham, geograph-3963659-by-Nigel-Thompson.jpg
View south, from the northbound platform.
General information
LocationEdgbaston, Birmingham
Coordinates52°27′04″N 1°56′10″W / 52.451°N 1.936°W / 52.451; -1.936Coordinates: 52°27′04″N 1°56′10″W / 52.451°N 1.936°W / 52.451; -1.936
Grid referenceSP043837
Managed byWest Midlands Railway
Transit authorityTransport for West Midlands
Other information
Station codeUNI
Fare zone2
ClassificationDfT category D
Original companyBritish Rail
Key dates
2016/17Increase 3.384 million
2017/18Increase 3.571 million
2018/19Increase 3.970 million
2019/20Increase 3.975 million
2020/21Decrease 0.731 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

University railway station serves the University of Birmingham, Birmingham Women's Hospital, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the West Midlands of England. It is on the Cross-City Line, which runs from Redditch and Bromsgrove to Lichfield via Birmingham New Street. Most services are operated by West Midlands Railway who manage the station, but some are operated by CrossCountry.

The station is the only main line railway station in Great Britain built specifically to serve a university.


Located on the former Birmingham West Suburban Railway, University station was built in 1977–8 to the designs of the architect John Broome[1] as part of the upgrade of the Cross City line.[2] The station was opened by William Rodgers, the Secretary of State for Transport, on 8 May 1978. It is a short distance away from the former Somerset Road station which closed in the 1930s. The station is in part built on the site of the ancient Metchley Roman Fort. The Cross-City Line was electrified in 1993 and the current Class 323 electric multiple units were introduced by British Rail on local services.

In 2017, it was announced that University railway station would receive up to £10 million as an improvement fund to enhance passenger experience and reduce overcrowding, as part of the Government's Midlands Engine Strategy.[3]


Pedestrian access is via University Road West, close to the Medical School and bus interchange - around 330 yards (300 m) uphill from University Square. Owing to the station's campus location on a service road there is no car parking, although nearby Selly Oak station is a designated Park and Ride station.[4] The station is alongside the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, a popular cycling and jogging route. Access is at street level as there is a fence between Platform 2 and the towpath.

On the concourse are two automated ticket machines and two windowed ticket booths, staffed all day Monday to Saturday and from 9:20 on Sundays. There is lift access down to both platforms from the entrance.[5] Platform 2 has a covered waiting room. Fare control is enforced by a line of automatic ticket barriers installed in April 2009, as at Five Ways station.


The station is served by West Midlands Railway with local Cross-City Line services operated by 3- or 6-car Class 323 electric multiple units. West Midlands Trains longer-distance services to Hereford and CrossCountry services to Cardiff and Nottingham are operated by air-conditioned Turbostar diesel multiple units.

University station is the seventh busiest station in the Network West Midlands region in terms of passenger numbers, and the busiest without a direct link to London. Just under four million passenger journeys were made to and from the station in the year 2018–19.[6]

The typical off-peak weekday service, in trains per hour (tph) is:[7][8]

Platform 1 (Northbound)

All services from Platform 1 stop at Birmingham New Street with an average journey time of 8 minutes.

West Midlands Railway operates:

CrossCountry operates 1tph to Nottingham.

Platform 2 (Southbound)

West Midlands Railway operates:

CrossCountry operates 1tph to Cardiff Central.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Five Ways   West Midlands Railway
Cross-City Line
  Selly Oak
Birmingham New Street   West Midlands Railway
  Bromsgrove or
Droitwich Spa or
Barnt Green
Birmingham New Street   CrossCountry
Cardiff - Nottingham
  Worcestershire Parkway

Disabled access

There is level access from the street to the ticket office and footbridge. Lifts provide access to both platforms from the footbridge. The station has a wide ticket gate which wheelchair users can use unaided.


In July 2019, West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM)[9] announced plans to redevelop the station in order to accommodate increasing passenger numbers generally and those arising from the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games, of which two events will be held at venues on the University of Birmingham campus.[10] The upgrades are intended to allow the station, originally designed for approximately 500,000 passengers a year, to handle more than 7 million passengers annually.[11]

The plans include:[11]

  • construction of a new, larger station building at the north end of the platforms.
  • widening of the platforms to alleviate crowding during peak times.
  • a footbridge over the canal linking the new station to the university campus.
  • a new public space around the approach to the new building.

On 22 July 2020, Minister of State for Transport Chris Heaton-Harris announced £12 million of government funding towards the expected £56 million cost of the project.[12] The remaining £44 million is to be funded by a consortium comprising the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, Network Rail, West Midlands Trains and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP.[12]


  1. ^ Lawrence, David (2018). British Rail Architecture 1948-97. Crecy Publishing Ltd. p. 155. ISBN 9780860936855.
  2. ^ "University Station". Rail Around Birmingham and the West Midlands. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Midlands Engine Strategy" (PDF). HM Government, Department for Communities and Local Government. March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Railway Station Car Parks". Birmingham City Council. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
  5. ^ "Station Facilities for University". National Rail Enquiries. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Station usage". Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Timetables". West Midlands Railway. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Pocket Timetables". CrossCountry. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
  9. ^ "University Station redevelopment plan launched in Birmingham". Rail Technology Magazine. 30 July 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  10. ^ "University of Birmingham unveiled as latest official partner of Birmingham 2022". University of Birmingham. 23 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  11. ^ a b "University Station". Transport for West Midlands. Archived from the original on 23 May 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Major Birmingham University station upgrade will boost economy and improve journeys for passengers". GOV.UK. 22 July 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.

External links