04/06/19 Turn Up And Go! Ten Years of The Shuttle
Ten Years of the Shuttle has really flown by! Has it really been a decade since our two little rascals started dodging up Europe’s shortest operational branch line? 650,000 journeys and over 5 million passengers later, we’re still at it – and we’re better than ever!
The beauty of the Shuttle – and successful public transport everywhere – is the ability to turn up and go. No need for a timetable – there’ll be another service along within 10 minutes. Prior to the Shuttle on the Stourbridge branch line, the older units ran a less-frequent operation – and on Sundays, you had to walk! At the Junction too, the service today is the best ever. 6 West Midlands Railway services an hour head to the bright lights of Birmingham during the day, and Chiltern provide picturesque services through the lovely Buckinghamshire countryside to our capital city.
In those 10 years of the Shuttle, we’ve seen our little service become one of the most reliable operations in UK public transport. This year, between March and May 2019, we provided 100% reliability. Every journey on time and no cancelled journeys through breakdown – over 16,000 consecutive trips without incident. It’s all down to the Shuttle’s small team of dedicated Engineering staff and Drivers. They know these little railcars inside and out!
Through torrential rain, snow, hurricanes and heatwaves, our service has delivered – and our rolling reliability average stands at 99.8% overall – one of the best anywhere.
We’ve been recognised by our industry peers – coming runners up / highly commended twice in recent years in the “Operator of the Year” section of the Global Light Rail Awards – up against light rail systems from all over the World!
We showed our green credentials too – together with our light rail sisters, we are the cleanest option of any public transport provider – we think clean air in Stourbridge is important!
We’ve carried over 5 million passengers in our decade on the line, and we’ll never forget Jo Aldred’s face when we identified her as the Shuttle’s five-millionth rider!
“Gerron Board” was strummed on guitars on the platform as the “Shuttle Song”, Geoff and Vicki from “All The Stations” came to see us, as part of their epic trip around every one of the 2563 GB railway stations and George The Stourbridge Station Cat delights his fans everywhere by posing asleep on his Facebook page most days…
This year, as we celebrate 10 years of the Shuttle, we also look back on a magnificent 140 years of the Stourbridge branch line – an unassuming three-quarters of a mile bit of the UK railway network that slopes down a 1 in 67 gradient from Junction to Town. It’s a little part of people’s lives that ferries them to work, to play, to shop, for fun nights out and a hard day’s work. It’s the start of an epic adventure or a trip back from the pub. And we’re proud to play a little part in your everyday life – if only for 3 minutes at a time.
Thanks for sharing our journey over the last 10 years. We’ve come a long way over three-quarters of a mile!