Secretary of State Compliments Stourbridge Branch Service
Lord Andrew Adonis, the Secretary of State for Transport, made time available during a pre-election political visit to Stourbridge on 13th April to undertake a personal inspection of the new lightweight railcar service on the Stourbridge Town branch line, which operates under the London Midland rail franchise. He also visited the maintenance depot. Speaking to the local press afterwards he was full of praise for what had been achieved by the local engineers who had designed and built the railcars, JPM Parry & Associates Ltd of Cradley Heath.
Lord Adonis, who described the service at Stourbridge as “a brilliant tram-style service”, told reporters that the Parry People Movers railcars – which have been running since May 2009 – could offer new opportunities for the UK transport authorities and also had good export potential.
During the course of Lord Adonis’s visit, which included taking a return trip on the branch line on board one of the railcars, he was given evidence of the operation’s environmental, engineering and service achievements.
The Parry People Movers railcars:
Discussions with Lord Adonis also included the potential use of similar lightweight railcars in the broader field of railway expansion – introducing new rail services on lines not currently used to transport passengers.
The political manifestos currently being issued by all parties make much mention of high-speed rail, but also cover the less glamorous branch lines. The Liberal Democrats, as well as small parties including the Greens and UKIP, say they would plan to re-open closed branch lines. The Conservatives say that they would discourage any buildings being put on former railway routes so they would be available for re-opening. The Labour party’s pronouncements only mention new high speed lines and improvements to the existing network with nothing to say about branch lines. However, they will promote measures to assist manufacturers of low carbon products and these clearly include the new Stourbridge lightweight railcars.
John Parry, chairman of the company, said: “We are delighted that the Secretary of State has shown such interest in our lightweight railcars in their first full-service operation. We hope that he and his opposite numbers in other parties will see how the combined economic and environmental benefits of this technology could bring about a new era for local rail services, bringing attractive transport links to many more communities and providing them with easy access to mainline trains so more people can move from road to rail transport.”
Notes to Editors: