Stourbridge Shuttle operators Pre Metro Operations are planning a series of tests with a trial railcar, with a view to replicating the success of the Stourbridge operation in other UK locations.
The demonstration vehicle was originally used as a trial operation on the Stourbridge branch line on Sundays prior to full seven-day operation on the line. It is now receiving a full refurbishment at the specialist Trailways company in Bloxwich and is being configured as a diesel/flywheel hybrid. Other improvements are being made to it’s suspension and cab layout, as well as in the passenger area. It is hoped that the revamp will be completed by October this year, upon which testing is likely to commence on the Chasewater Railway (http://www.chasewaterrailway.co.uk/ )with staff from the Stourbridge operation.
Following a successful trial, the vehicle will then be available for demonstration at locations around the UK, with the possibility of then providing a permanent Shuttle Service at Gobowen, linking to the Regional Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry. (see this news story)
The vehicle is currently jointly owned by the original builders and patent owners, Parry People Movers Ltd of Cradley Heath and Lightweight Community Transport Ltd of Taunton, a Community Benefit Society, who wish to provide vehicles under lease to local operators. See http://www.lctltd.co.uk/