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What are the Birmingham Train Stations?

Birmingham is a huge city with a lot of offer. It’s also a hub of the rail network in Great Britain, so it’s very likely that you might need to change trains there. The thought of this might be a little daunting, especially if you need to switch stations. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help with our guide to the Birmingham train stations.

What are the Birmingham train stations?

If you’re travelling to, from, or through Birmingham, then you have three main stations to choose from. Two of them serve the ‘Snow Hill Lines‘, which are a network of lines that serve the West Midlands and beyond, while the other is a huge hub for services from all over Great Britain.

Birmingham New Street

This is not only the largest of the Birmingham train stations, but also one of the largest stations in Great Britain. The thought of changing trains here can strike fear into even the most seasoned traveller. Don’t worry though, we have some tips to make it easier for you.

In a nutshell, you can get to just about everywhere from Birmingham New Street. Here are some of the most important routes:

  • Avanti West Coast will take you to Glasgow Central, Edinburgh and London Euston
  • For CrossCountry, this is the heart of their network. You can take their trains to Bristol, Plymouth, Penzance, Reading, Southampton, Sheffield, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Cardiff
  • London Northwestern Railway run trains to Coventry, Northampton and London Euston
  • You can take Transport for Wales services to Shrewsbury, Aberystwyth, Pwllheli, Chester and Holyhead
  • West Midlands Railway operates trains from here to Hereford, Walsall, Rugeley, Crewe, Liverpool, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury.
How do I change trains at Birmingham New Street?

This depends on what your plans are! If you’re on a rush and need to change trains quickly, then you need to head for the ‘B‘ end of the platform. Every platform is split into A and B, and some platforms also have a ‘C’ part, too.

If you go to the A end, you’ll end up at a set of ticket gates. There are several different sets of gates, and they’re split into different coloured ‘lounges’. Naturally, this is where you’ll want to go if you’re leaving the station, but also if you want to use the station facilities. There is a huge shopping and eating/drinking area called Grand Central, which has everything from upmarket restaurants to a branch of Tesco.

interior of birmingham new street, one of the birmingham stations

If you need to find which ‘lounge’ you need to use, don’t worry. The colour is shown on the departure boards:

birmingham new street departure boards showing coloured zones

Birmingham Moor Street

This is probably the nicest station to look at out of the Birmingham train stations. It’s been lovingly restored to how it used to be back in the old Great Western Railway era, and it has a slightly slower pace and feel compared to New Street. It’s just across the road from the Bullring, too.

birmingham moor street station concourse, one of the birmingham train stations

So, where can you go from here?

  • Chiltern Railways will take you to Leamington Spa, Banbury, High Wycombe and London Marylebone
  • West Midlands Railway runs trains to Solihull, Dorridge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Stourbridge Junction, Worcester and Great Malvern.

It’s a fairly small station, with just two ‘through’ platforms that connect the north and south of Birmingham, and two more platforms that allow trains from the south to terminate there.

Birmingham Snow Hill

Looking to visit the centre of Birmingham? Then this is probably the best of the Birmingham train stations for you if your train stops there. It’s close to St Philip’s Cathedral and the main shopping areas.

platform signage at birmingham snow hill

So, what about the trains that go there? It’s fairly similar to Birmingham Moor Street:

  • Chiltern Railways will take you to Leamington Spa, Banbury, High Wycombe and London Marylebone
  • West Midlands Railway runs trains to Solihull, Dorridge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Stourbridge Junction, Worcester and Great Malvern.

If you’re looking to change for services that go from Birmingham New Street, then we’d recommend changing at Moor Street instead. Almost all trains to Snow Hill also stop there, and they’re just a minute or two away from each other.

How do I change between Birmingham New Street and Moor Street?

It might be that you need to switch between Birmingham train stations to get where you need to go. In most cases, that’ll be between New Street and Moor Street. That might seem like a challenge, but don’t panic.

If you’re heading out of New Street, then head for the exit towards Smallbrook Queensway and the Bullring. When you get outside (and you can see the Bullring and Boots in front of you), we’d recommend crossing the road straight away. After this, turn left and just follow the road that goes under the Bullring itself.

Heading from Moor Street? Go through the main set of ticket gates. Turn left at the exit and head across the road, before turning right and following the road under the Bullring. When you see Boots on your left, turn right and cross the road.

birmingham new street station entrance

To make things easier, you can take a look at this map. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to get between the stations:

I want to avoid changing at Birmingham train stations!

We don’t blame you! Sometimes, there is an easier option than changing at the Birmingham train stations. Here are some of the key stations where it might be simpler to change, and where you won’t need quite as much time to do it:

  • Cheltenham Spa is ideal if you’re switching between trains on the Plymouth/Bristol to Manchester/Edinburgh and Cardiff to Nottingham routes. It’s a same-platform change, too
  • Wolverhampton is good option if you want to change between Bournemouth/Reading to Manchester and London/Birmingham to Edinburgh trains, as well as trains to/from North Wales
  • Smethwick Galton Bridge is an easier option to get to/from the ‘Snow Hill Lines’ from Worcester, Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull, rather than walking between Birmingham train stations.

We’ve actually produced a dedicated guide to changing trains, where we’ve listed the ways that you can minimise how far you need to walk between your connections.

Are there any other tips that I should know?

Here at Railsmartr, we know how difficult it can be to navigate the world of train tickets. Why not check out our pages on the best time to travel for cheap tickets and the best First Class train next?

Thinking of taking a trip soon? You can book it all with Railsmartr. We’ll be sure to show you the slower and cheaper options, so you can get the best value fare for your journey.

Changed your mind? Need to travel on a different day? No problem at all. You can change or refund your ticket (if it’s refundable) without any extra fees.