PLANS for Queen Street Station were revealed today, giving the station a dominant presence on the corner of George Square.

The £120million design, which replaces one from 2012, accommodates the longer platforms needed to take nine-carriage trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh, under the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme.

Platforms two, three, four and five will be extended towards the George Square entrance, which has a full glass fronted facade.

The east side of the station, currently occupied by the taxi rank, car park and British Transport police office will be home to new station facilities, and retail and catering units on ground and upper levels.

A new footbridge on the upper level will connect to the Buchanan Galleries extension from the Dundas Street and Cathedral Street entrances, with escalators taking passengers down to platform level.

The new plan involves the demolition of the Consort House office on the corner of Dundas Street and West George Street, occupied by SPT and a Sainsbury's local store.

The extension to the Millennium Hotel will also have to be purchased and demolished for the plan.

Transport Minister Keith Brown launched a consul-tation on the proposals today in George Square with Network Rail bosses.

Mr Brown said: "Queen Street Station is at the heart of Glasgow's railway network and passengers using the station should enjoy an experience befitting of that role.

"The EGIP scheme will result in 30% more seats and around 20% faster journey times on our flagship route.

"It has already delivered the stunning new-look £25million Haymarket Station in Edinburgh and this complete transform-ation of Queen Street means passengers will benefit at both ends and at all points in between.

"Before then, we'll see the completion of electrific-ation of the Cumbernauld line in time for the Commonwealth Games.

"We are now working with partners on the scheme to see these exciting plans come to life."

EARLIER this year Mr Brown revealed the final business plan for EGIP.

It was altered to include the new Queen Street blueprint, taking the cost from £650m to £741.5m.

Initial proposals to run more trains were scrapped in favour of longer trains to accommodate more passengers to ease peak-time overcrowding.

The Queen Street plan is due to be complete by March 2019, with work starting in 2016.

It will mean that the Victorian roof arch visible from within the station will be seen from George Square and Queen Street for the first time in 50 years.

The plans, which double the concourse area and connect to Buchanan Street Subway have the backing of Glasgow City Council.

Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "This is an exciting announcement that underlines the key role that Queen Street Station plays for Glasgow.

"The redevelopment of the station and surroun-ding buildings comple-ments our plans for the city centre, and will enable even better connections to the expanded Buchanan Gall-eries and the underground.

"We look forward to working with our partners on this project, which will make a huge contribution to the economy of the city."

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, which would need to move from Consort House, said that the connection between the Subway and train station was essential.

SPT chairman Jim Coleman said: "These are exciting times for Glasgow and the link bet-ween the station and the Subway is essential to maintaining Glasgow Queen Street Station as a key transport interchange for the city.

"We look forward to working with Transport Scotland, Glasgow City Council and Network Rail, and SPT will be responding to the consultation to ensure that passengers' needs remain a priority during and after the proposed works."

David Dickson, Network Rail's acting route man-aging director for Scotland, wants passengers' to give their opinions of the plan.

He said: "We want to hear what passengers think of this exciting new vision for the future of Queen Street - a vision of a station which better serves passengers and Glasgow and creates a landmark development in this iconic location.

"The new-look Queen Street will greatly enhance the city centre and we want the public to help inform the final design of a station that will serve their needs for years to come."