University railway station (England)

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University National Rail
University railway station, Birmingham, geograph-3963659-by-Nigel-Thompson.jpg
View south, from the northbound platform.
Local authorityBirmingham
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
Station codeUNI
Managed byWest Midlands Trains
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryD
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 2.845 million
2014/15Increase 2.977 million
2015/16Increase 3.206 million
2016/17Increase 3.384 million
2017/18Increase 3.475 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTETransport for West Midlands
Original companyBritish Rail
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at University from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

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


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, then Secretary of State for Transport, on 8 May 1978. Although this was the first station on the site, it is located a short distance away from the former Somerset Road station which was closed in the 1930s. 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. Due 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 also situated 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.

The station is the only main line railway station in Great Britain built specifically to serve a university. There is a covered waiting room on Platform 2. There are also two automated ticket machines on the concourse 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] Fare control is enforced by a line of automatic ticket barriers installed in April 2009, as at Five Ways.


The station is served by West Midlands Trains with local Cross-City Line services operated by 3- or 6-car Class 323 electrical 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 sixth busiest station in the Network West Midlands region in terms of passenger numbers, and the busiest without a direct link to London. Just over two million tickets were sold to and from the station in the year 2009-10.[6]

Typical off-peak weekday service is as follows, in trains per hour (tph):[7][8]

Platform 1 (Northbound)[edit]

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

Platform 2 (Southbound)[edit]

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
Ashchurch for Tewkesbury or
Cheltenham Spa

Disabled access[edit]

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.


  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 22 June 2011.
  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. ^ Table 71 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  10. ^ Table 57 National Rail timetable, May 2016

External links[edit]