New Street station: Stainless steel panels to 'transform' look

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Media captionThe new outer skin is part of a £598m redevelopment of the station

Thousands of stainless steel panels are to be attached to the outside of Birmingham New Street station to "transform" the way it looks, Network Rail has said.

The new outer skin is part of a £598m redevelopment of the station.

The 20,000 sq m (23,920 sq yds) of panels are being made by the Sheffield-based firm Outokumpu.

Ben Herburt, from Network Rail, said: "They will transform what is currently a rather drab concrete building."

Billy Race, from Outokumpu, said this was a "fantastic project for Sheffield".

The first panels will be installed around the new entrance to the station on Stephenson Street in December, Network Rail has said.

A spokesman said the steel superstructure on which they will be mounted is "virtually complete".

The redevelopment of the station, which is backed by Network Rail, Birmingham City Council, the Department for Transport, Advantage West Midlands and Centro, is due to be finished in 2015.

The scheme, which aims to double passenger capacity, includes creating more than 40 escalators and 15 public lifts, a new station facade and eight new entrances.

The station is also to be lit by natural light for the first time in over 40 years.

A 35m (114ft) high atrium made of glass and steel will cover an area of 3,300 sq m (3,947 sq yds).

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