Sunday, April 28, 2013

To Alvechurch via nearly new New St Station - 28th April 2013

This weekend was "On the Water Weekend", a sort of open day being hosted at various marinas on the canal network. It was also the opening of the first stage of the New Street Station development. I considered  quantities of birds and stones, and decided to go walkabouts. I know Alvechurch is outside the area normally covered in this blog but it's on a canal so that's good enough for me. Also I have ancestors buried at one of  the churches in Alvechurch. Most important, the President will be there  (no! not thingy-whosit from over the pond, I mean the boat!)

There were plenty of helpful guides in the area around New Street Station to make sure you found your way there, even if you were going somewhere else. (yeah, it's not in focus)

HRH Prince Charles is not going to like this, and neither did I. Think of the half-closed eye of some reptile basking in the sun. That's the first thought that struck me. This is the main entrance at the corner of Stephenson Street and Hill Street.

Another entrance on Stephenson Street. 

 Once inside, my impression of the work was much more favourable. It was bright, airy and seemed quite spacious. The self-service ticket machines were well used, probably due to the long queue inside the ticket office where there was only ONE person selling tickets! Obviously some job vacancies there.

Travel information was available from a variety of  panels and interactive consoles spread around the station. My train was running on time.

The ticket barriers. 

The platform bridge. A vast improvement on the previous one. (You can see the reptile's ribs above).

 Down to the old dreary platforms.

Now in the peaceful beauty of Alvechurch.  The Weighbridge... I can cut through here to the marina.

 The President, a steam-powered narrow boat. Always worth the journey to see this historic boat.

 The Kildare, another old working boat which is seeking funds for restoration.

Tranquil scene.