WEST Japan Railway has announced plans to redevelop Osaka station by 2011, to create a showpiece gateway to the city.

Work will begin this year on a new terminal building, designed for improved accessibility. Additional escalators and lifts will help to smooth passenger flows and simplify transfer between different services.

A new overall roof will be combined with a north-south walkway to create a plaza above the platforms. Direct covered links will be provided to the adjacent North Building retail and office development.