Glasgow Queen Street station redevelopment must surpass expectations - Alastair Dalton

It will be an extraordinary addition to Glasgow's cityscape, returning the railways to George Square after 40 years of being hidden behind an ugly hotel extension.

A new fly-through video by Network Rail offers passengers further glimpses of what lies in store when the £120 million revamp of Queen Street station is finally completed in 2020.

As much, if not more so than with Edinburgh Haymarket five years ago, the overhaul of the station should transform its look and feel.

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It should prove to be the icing on the cake for the £858 million electrification of the main line between the two cities - the embodiment of Scottish rail travel in the 2020s.

Queen Street station's new glass frontage will look onto George Square. Picture: Network Rail

This is crucial because appearance and image counts for so much when trying to encourage more people to take the train rather than drive.

The combination of a dramatic new frontage, lofty interior and ScotRail’s impressive new electric trains should prove an enticing combination for everyone from those who don’t travel by rail - which means most people - to veteran commuters.

There is also the prospect of more and better shops on either side of the concourse, and a far enhanced space for waiting for trains, beside the huge glass frontage which will allow passengers to at last see out of the building.

This is a massive opportunity to create a showcase of how good a rail station can be.

But its designers should not get carried away with stunning architecture alone - travellers’ basic needs must be catered for, and not in a frustratingly “It could have been so much better” way that I have encountered elsewhere.

The south-facing windows should fill the concourse with light, but will this be blinding on one of Glasgow’s many bright days?

Equally, in colder weather, it must be warm enough and draught-free environment to be a pleasant place to sit.

Even what the seating is made of is important - metal may be easy to maintain and damage resistant, but it can be freezing to the touch, as those who use the station’s lower-level platforms will know.

Information is also crucial, and the new Queen Street is the opportunity for Network Rail to end its infuriating practice of not installing screens big enough to show details of all trains and platforms at the same time.

In what looks like a false economy, if not simply a failure to understand passenger needs, on new screens at other stations the information is rotated, so people rushing for a train can’t immediately see from which platform it’s departing.

To some, these may seem like minor quibbles when the improvement to what passengers currently endure at the station will be so vast.

As I wrote last year, it’s just plain wrong that passengers have been left with virtually nothing on the concourse since months before work even started there.

Shops weer closed, cash machines taken away and even the ticket office relocated to outside the building. Waiting for a train there has been grim.

I also said you could in theory nip out to nearby shops for food or something to read, but that relies on knowing where to go, not having heavy luggage, having enough time before your train, and it not pouring with rain.

It is for Network Rail to make good its sins on that score and complete the remodelling of the station in a way that not only meets but surpasses expectations - which will have rightly built up by then.