Our company provides innovative light-rail services as a low-cost alternative to current heavy rail, or as a solution to reopening parts of currently closed sections of railway. Contact us for a chat about what we can offer.
The Story So Far…
Currently, we operate the “Stourbridge Shuttle”, a small rail link between Junction and Town stations in Stourbridge, using bespoke vehicles, in partnership with West Midlands Trains. Our people are directly employed by us and have an in-depth knowledge of the service. We’re very much part of the local community!
The Stourbridge Shuttle is operated by Class 139 Railcars, which allow an intensive 10 minute frequency, are very environmentally-friendly and are easily accessible with flat-level entry for wheelchair users and buggys. Reliability is excellent – between 99.7 & 100%!
Pre Metro Operations Ltd was formed by Philip Evans and John Parry in 1999 as an independent train operating company with the intention of running services on short branch lines across the UK.
Between 2005-2006, a prototype Parry People Movers railcar entered service on the Stourbridge branch line for a Sunday-only trial to test viability. Subsequently, it was decided to make the trial permanent.
Following the trial operation, the company received depot and operating licences and two Class 139 LPG fuelled/ flywheel hybrid railcars were constructed for the permanent operation. Full service on the Stourbridge branch line commenced in June 2009 using the Ultra Light Railcars, replacing the heavy rail class 153 diesel unit.
From the introduction of the service in 2009 up until 10th December 2017, the service was branded as London Midland Stourbridge Shuttle, in the franchise operator’s standard green/white/grey/black livery. During the lifetime of the current franchise holder – West Midlands Trains – from December 2017 – March 2026, the railcars will carry the new “West Midlands Railway” livery of orange/purple. Pre Metro Operations itself is not subject to rail franchising, as it is classed as an “open access” operator.
Using innovative technology, Pre Metro Operations is providing the best level of service seen in the branch line’s 140 year history. The operation is clean, green, frequent, highly reliable and easy access from platform to railcar. Staff are all local and are dedicated to this particular service.
Since commencing the full seven-day service in 2009, patronage has grown, frequency increased, emissions cut and service operation costs have been reduced. A Sunday service has returned to the line for the first time in over 100 years.
The Stourbridge Shuttle operates seven days per week with a basic ten minute frequency. Reliability is amongst the very best of any train operating company in the UK, and currently stands at around 99.7%, having operated over 450,000 miles and carried over 5 million passengers – up 50% in under 10 years.
Pre Metro Operations was awarded “Highly Commended” in the Operator of the Year category of the Global Light Rail Awards in 2016 & 2017.
The company is looking to expand it’s highly successful model to other areas of the UK. It is not tied to any one vehicle manufacturer.