Good, bad or indifferent? Arts Editor Terry Grimley gives his verdict on the latest plans to redevelop New Street Station...
Obviously they're an improvement - it would be remarkable to spend #500 million and fail to achieve that - but it would be difficult to describe plans for the redevelopment of New Street Station as exciting.
To see how far architectural aspirations for the project have fallen since leading architects John McAslan+Partners were first appointed to succeed Will Alsop, you have only to compare the newly released images with McAslan's early concept designs.
In place of the soaring glass structure topped by an undulating, sail-like roof canopy we now have something that looks like a bog-standard multiplex cinema.
In fact, the impression of the new scheme given by the Bull Ring and Stephenson Street frontages is of a mere re-cladding of the existing structure, where previous images appeared to be based on the idea of redistributing the retail components of the site.
"Subterranean" is an adjective that has been regularly trotted out within the frequent denunciations of Britain's most depressing station, so it is important to recognise that it will be just as subterranean after #500 million has been spent.
Of course, underground stations don't have to be as dismal as New Street, and the artist's impressions show how it could be made far more elegant.
But the failure to get natural light and ventilation down to platform level may be problematic if it means that the voids at each end of the station have to remain open for ventilation reasons.
As plans for the revamp have been in development much has been made of them being integrated with the surrounding fabric of the city - which the station, and those voids in particular, seriously disrupt.
In fact, the plans so far released give almost no sense of how this would be achieved. For #500 million you apparently don't even lose the hideous wall along Hill Street.
The most interesting and radical aspect of the scheme appears to be the treatment of the Hill Street/Station Street corner.
Because of the fall of the land which means that tracks on this side of the station are virtually at street level, the pedestrian route through the Pallasades Shopping Centre ends high in the air, and at the moment drops abruptly down a flight of dark and threatening steps.
The new plans seem to show that the structure has been pulled back from the street frontage to create an open space and allow a more gradual rise to the north-south pedestrian axis.
The rationalisation of this pedestrian route is an obvious and essential component of any rebuild of the station. The new plans also deliver an enlarged and much more attractive concourse with natural light, though its actual architectural quality is difficult to judge from the visualisation.
Overall, Birmingham seems to be falling once more into the Bull Ring trap: that is, believing that if it's better than what's there now, it's good enough.
But over the last 20 years a new generation of truly spectacular stations has been emerging in Europe and the Far East - stations so impressive as to justify a journey to their respective cities in their own right.
All the signs, however, are that financing even this modest workaday vision will be a major struggle, so perhaps its lack of iconic clout says as much about Britain's aspirations as it does about Birmingham's.
After all, Birmingham New Street is the linchpin of the nation's passenger rail network. The question shouldn't be whether this is good enough for the city, but whether it's good enough for the country.