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Parry People Mover on test in West Midlands, U.K.

Centro, the Passenger Transport Executive for the West Midlands has confirmed that the Parry People Mover will be given a trial on Sundays during this summer on what is said to be the shortest operational branch railway line in the world, from Stourbridge Town station to Stourbridge Junction. Tom Magrath, Director of Passenger Operations, said in a television interview that it was a very good test-bed for the Parry ultralight flywheel driven tram as it was a dedicated route and by operating it on a Sunday (when there is currently no service) it would cause minimum disruption if there were any initial teething problems. If successful, there is the possibility that the Parry vehicle may be used throughout the week as it would avoid tying up a full-sized diesel rail car for what is essentially a feeder service up a sharp gradient to Stourbridge Junction. The line is just 3/4 mile long and the journey takes 2.5 minutes.

John Parry has been seeking this opportunity of a trial service at Stourbridge for several years and, if successful, it could be the break-through he has been looking for his Parry Peoplemover tram - which he described in the TV interview as "one step below the technology of the Midland Metro trams" and more akin to using bus technology on rails.

Centro has recently adopted a long term strategy for the development of the Midland Metro light rail system which will include extensions for high volume corridors and for joint running of heavy and light rail services on the same tracks where appropriate. This experiment at Stourbridge could be used as a learning experience for how Midland Metro vehicles might share heavy rail tracks elsewhere in the West Midlands.

3 February 1999

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