University Station at the University of Birmingham

University Station opened in 1978 and continues to serve the University of Birmingham and QEHB. With passenger numbers set to rise, University Station is set for an exciting redevelopment.

Where is University Station?

The current University Station is at Westgate (University Road West), University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2GB. Next to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.


In brief

University Station opened on the Cross City Line in 1978. It now serves the University of Birmingham and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Currently served by Class 323 Electric Multiple Units, as well as Class 170 Turbostar trains.

University StationUniversity Station (August 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown


Rail services at University

The Cross City Line goes between Redditch and Lichfield Trent Valley via Birmingham New Street. The line to Bromsgrove was electrified and this was opened in 2018. It was operated by London Midland until late 2017, before West Midlands Railway took it over. Trains on the Birmingham New Street to Hereford line also sometimes call here (via Bromsgrove and Worcester).

West Midlands Railway Class 323

West Midlands Railway 323206 at University Station (November 2019). Photography by Elliott Brown


The station is also served by Cross Country Trains, on their services from Cardiff Central to Nottingham via Birmingham New Street.

Cross Country Class 170Cross Country Trains 170 638 at University Station (August 2014). Photography by Elliott Brown


University Station - proposed redevelopment

University StationUniversity Station (artist impression) courtesy of West Midlands Combined Authority

The current station, built in the 1970s and designed to cater for 400,000 passengers, is one of the busiest in the region.

However, the station is deemed no longer fit for purpose and, with a predicted increase in passenger numbers set to top 7.2 million passengers per year, the station is in need of redevelopment. 

Enhanced passenger facilities & improved connectivity for pedestrians & cyclists will be created alongside improved amenities, retail provision, wider platforms with longer canopies, heated waiting areas, and a new footbridge linking University of Birmingham campus to the station.

With a £12 million contribution from the Department for Transport, 2021 will see work commence on the new University Station, at a cost of £56 million.

University Station (artist impressions) courtesy of West Midlands Combined Authority


History of University Station

University Station was opened in 1978 on the Cross City Line, by the then Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. William Rodgers PC. MP. during May 1978. The Birmingham Civic Society awarded the Forward Prize 1978 to the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive for their outstanding service to the citizens of Birmingham in creating the Cross City Line.

University Station plaquesPlaques at University Station (May 2016). Photography by Elliott Brown

It is located a short distance away from the old Somerset Road Station (which closed in the 1930s) at the Westgate. It was built close to the site of Metchley Roman Fort.

University StationUniversity Station (January 2013). Photography by Elliott Brown

The Cross City line was electrified in 1993, and the current Class 323 Electric Multiple Unit trains were introduced into service by British Railways.

After privatisation of the railway, Central Trains ran the station from 1997 to 2007, followed by London Midland from 2007 to 2017. The current franchise operator West Midlands Railway has been running the station since the end of 2017.

University StationLondon Midland 323208 at University Station (July 2017). Photography by Elliott Brown


Redevelopment progress

May 2021

Work has started in 2021 at University Station. It is visible from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, as well as from New Fosse Way and Vincent Drive at the University of Birmingham.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University StationRedevelopment of University Station (May 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown


August 2021

Into mid to late summer, the structure is rising at Vincent Drive, and opposite at Westgate, while trains continue to use the 1978 station.

University Station

University Station

University Station

University StationRedevelopment of University Station (August 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

Project dates

23 Feb 2021 - On-going


Transport, Modern Architecture


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Jonathan Bostock

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