This is the first look at the major redevelopments planned for Wales’ two busiest railway stations.
Cardiff Central station will have a new two-storey southern entrance and ticket hall under plans submitted by Network Rail.
Nearby Cardiff Queen Street station will also finally have a new entrance fit for the 21st Century.
The works are part of a £200m scheme to boost train capacity in Cardiff and surrounding areas.
However, the station redevelopments have been reduced in size.
A leading Assembly Member warned that even with the new plans, the capital would be unable to compete with other major cities without a total refurbishment of Cardiff Central.
Network Rail, which owns and operates Britain’s railways, this week submitted a prior approval application to Cardiff council.
The stations will be similar in design, featuring slate panels, grey brickwork, pavilion-style roofs, large windows and stainless steel signage.
Construction at Cardiff Queen Street is planned to start in April 2013 and at Cardiff Central in June 2014. The whole Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal project is due to be completed by May 2015.
Other enhancements include an extra platform at Cardiff Central, which will be known as platform eight, and the reopening of a disused platform at Cardiff Queen Street.
Once finished, the number of trains running to the Valleys will increase from 12 per hour to 16 per hour.
Network Rail’s prior approval application reveals the project’s funding difficulties.
“The additional funding for the station entrance buildings is no longer available and therefore it has been funded from the overall project budget,” the report states.
“Some of the original aspirations to improve the facilities to both staff and rail users alike have now been scaled back in size and facilities.”
Cardiff Central AM Jenny Randerson said the plans did not go far enough and called on the Assembly Government to commit funding to a major refurbishment of the rest of Cardiff Central.
“What we have got is a situation where Cardiff Central station is one of the 10 busiest in Britain and it’s still being treated as a suburban station,” she said. “It’s not being treated like a capital city station. Even with these refurbishments it still will not compete with the stations in other major urban centres.”
The Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal (CASR) project is funded by the Department for Transport, Assembly Government and Network Rail.
As well as the works in Cardiff, additional platforms will also be constructed at Tir-Phil, Caerphilly and Barry stations, among others.
An Assembly Government spokeswoman said last night it had committed £7m for the enhancements programme.
What do you think about the plans for the stations? Do you use Queen Street or Cardiff Central? Let us know your views in the comments below