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News Archive 2005


Go to Latest News page for recent updates or archive years 2009 : 2008 : 2007 : 2006 : 2005 : 2004 : 2003

Date News Item
21st December 2005
NEW VIDEO CLIP - STOURBRIDGE TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS BY PPM
A new short film produced by h-arts shows the Class 999 PPM 50 Light Railcar linking the bus interchange at Stourbridge Town with main line trains at Stourbridge Junction, as well as providing a local transport service.  To view the film, click here.  Video Archives can also be accessed from the Press Room page.
21st December 2005
PHOTOS OF PPM 50 IN PASSENGER SERVICE AT STOURBRIDGE
Pictures from the first day of public operation on the Stourbridge Town branch have been added to the Photo Archive.  The photographs, taken on Sunday 11th December, include a selection from UpMain Editorial & Photographic Agency, which was present on the day to record the start of the service.
19th December 2005 SUCCESSFUL START OF PASSENGER OPERATIONS AT  STOURBRIDGE
PPM and Pre Metro Operations Ltd ended 2005 on a high note with the launch of public services using PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900 on Network Rail's Stourbridge Town branch.  On Sundays 11th and 18th December an introductory service was run with souvenir tickets being sold to passengers (on 18th December the PMOL operation was one of the few local rail services running in the West Midlands due to staff shortages).  The news was rapidly picked up by the local and regional media with television and radio features as well as newspaper articles, as listed on the Media Coverage page.  Services will recommence after Christmas on 8th January: the first regular Sunday service between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town since 1915.
17th December 2005 STOURBRIDGE SERVICE ON 18th DECEMBER NOT AFFECTED BY CENTRAL TRAINS STAFF SHORTAGES
Operation of a PPM 50 Light Railcar between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town stations on Sunday 18th December is NOT affected by staff shortages on Central Train. Train operator Pre Metro Operations Ltd will run railcar services on the Stourbridge Town branch between approximately 09.30 and 14.30 as previously announced. Full details are given below.
14th December 2005
DETAILS OF STOURBRIDGE OPERATION ON SUNDAY 18th DECEMBER
Pre Metro Operations Ltd will again run a PPM railcar in public service on the Stourbridge Town branch on Sunday 18th December.
Railcar services will depart Stourbridge Junction (Platform 1) at 09.36, 10.00, 10.20 and then every 15 minutes until 14.35
Return services will depart Stourbridge Town at 09.41, 10.10, 10.25 and then every 15 minutes until 1440
No services will operate after arrival at Stourbridge Junction at 14.44.
Souvenir tickets valid on the PMOL service only and costing £1 per person will be available from the staff on board the railcar.  Valid rail tickets and travel passes will be accepted.  Please note that PMOL will not be able to sell tickets for onward journeys by Central Trains; these can be purchased from the ticket office at Stourbridge Junction.  The ticket office at Stourbridge Town station is not staffed on Sundays.
14th December 2005
NEW PRESS RELEASE REPORTS LAUNCH OF STOURBRIDGE OPERATION
A press release from PPM and Pre Metro Operations Ltd has been issued to announce the commencement of passenger services between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town using a PPM 50 Light Railcar.
12th December 2005
STOURBRIDGE PASSENGER SERVICE STARTS
PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900 entered public service on the Network Rail system on Sunday 11th December.  The railcar, operated by Pre Metro Operations Ltd, between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town with fare-paying passengers being carried until the mid-afternoon.  A similar service will operate between approximately 09.30 and 14.30 on Sunday 18th December, with individually-numbered souvenir tickets costing £1 each (valid travel passes and rail tickets will also be accepted but for this introductory period passengers must purchase through tickets for onward travel to stations on the national network at Stourbridge Junction).  A full-day service will be introduced in the New Year.
9th December 2005
FINAL APPROVALS GIVEN FOR PPM OPERATION AT STOURBRIDGE
On 6th December HM Railway Inspectorate  issued certificate 375a permitting licensed train operating company Pre Metro Operations Ltd to run PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900 in passenger service on the Stourbridge Town branch of the national rail system.  At the same time, HMRI issued complementary certificate 375b to Network Rail, the infrastructure operator.  The formal track access contract for the public service was agreed between PMOL and Network Rail on 7th December.  With support from Centro (the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive) and the Department for Transport , the service will initially run on Sundays when Central Trains does not operate on the line.
7th December 2005 PRE METRO OPERATIONS LTD WEBSITE LAUNCHED
PPM’s associate company Pre Metro Operations Ltd now has its own website: www.premetro.co.uk.  PMOL is a licensed train operating company and is currently making final preparations to use a PPM 50 Light Railcar in passenger service on Network Rail’s Stourbridge Town branch in the West Midlands.
5th December 2005

REGULATOR APPROVES TRACK AGREEMENT FOR STOURBRIDGE SERVICE
The track access conditions of the passenger service to be provided using a PPM 50 Light Railcar on the Stourbridge Town branch of the national rail network have been approved by the Office of Rail Regulation.  On 25th November 2005 the ORR directed Network Rail to enter into a specified track access contract with Pre Metro Operations Ltd, the licensed operator of the service

2nd December 2005
PICTURES OF PPM 50 AT STOURBRIDGE NOW AVAILABLE
The Photo Archive has been updated to include pictures of PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900 being delivered to the Stourbridge Town branch on 6th November and during crew training operation on 27th November
27th November 2005 CREW TRAINING FOR STOURBRIDGE OPERATION
Training of Pre Metro Operations Ltd staff to operate a PPM 50 Light Railcar on the Stourbridge Town branch is now well underway. The railcar, No. 999 900, was used for driver familiarisation running on the branch line today. With technical and non-passenger operational approvals now granted to PMOL, this was the first time that a PPM vehicle has run on Network Rail tracks outside of an engineering possession of the line.
19th November 2005
PARRY NEWS ISSUE 43 PUBLISHED
Newsletter including: PPM 50 Railcar Gains Passenger Service Approval; Stourbridge to be Showcase for Export Potential; Joining Forces for Oswestry Link; PPM Services - Molehills & Mountains; The Strengthening Case for a Wensleydale Connection; Huge Media Response to Demonstration Service
16th November 2005
WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY REPORTS ON PPM OPERATION
The Autumn edition of Relay, the newsletter of the Wensleydale Railway Association, reports in detail on September's service using a PPM 50 Light Railcar between Leeming Bar and Northallerton, run by the operating company Wensleydale Railway plc.  Details have been added to the Media Coverage page and a further report added to the Passenger Comment page.  Relay costs £1.50 and can be obtained from the WRA.
11th November 2005
STOURBRIDGE OPERATION RECEIVES NETWORK RAIL CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY
National rail infrastructure company Network Rail has issued a Certificate of Authority giving engineering approval for PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900 to run in passenger service on the Stourbridge Town branch.  Certificate No. NRAB/733/01/I dated 9th November 2005 permits licensed train operating company Pre Metro Operations Ltd to use the railcar on the branch line with the route closed to other trains.  The passenger service is supported by Centro (the West Midlands Passenger Transport Excecutive) and the Department for Transport, which has taken over the previous role of the Strategic Rail Authority.
11th November 2005
VIDEO CLIP OF PPM 50 AT STOURBRIDGE NOW AVAILABLE
The latest addition to the PPM Video Archive shows PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900 at Stourbridge Town station on 6th November while undergoing tests on the branch line.  To view this and other video footage, click on dialup or broadband to suit your internet connection.
11th November 2005 WENSLEYDALE ACHIEVEMENT RECORDED IN NEW PUBLICATION
A news sheet has been added to the Publications & Presentations page recording the success of September’s public service on the Wensleydale Railway, when over 700 passenger journeys were made on the PPM 50 Light Railcar. The entire operation was set up in less than 50 days. 
6th November 2005 PREPARATIONS CONTINUE TOWARDS STOURBRIDGE PPM OPERATION
The PPM 50 Light Railcar to be used by Pre Metro Operations Ltd for public service between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town was today moved from the Chiltern Railways Traincare Depot on to the branch line, where it underwent a short series of tests. PPM and PMOL appreciate the assistance of Chiltern Railways and Network Rail in carrying out this exercise.
3rd November 2005
ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY RAIL GROUP HEARS CASE FOR PPM-TYPE LIGHT RAIL
PPM and the Sustainable Transport Company / Bristol Electric Railbus presented their concepts for self-powered, environmentally-friendly light rail solutions to today's transport problems to the All-Party Parliamentary Rail Group at Westminster on 31st October.  The visual presentation used by PPM can be viewed in the in the Publications & Presentations page, part of the Press Room - PPM's online information resource.
3rd November 2005
PPM 50 LIGHT RAILCAR DELIVERED TO STOURBRIDGE DEPOT
As part of preparations for the introduction of a PPM service on the Network Rail branch line between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town, the PPM 50 Light Railcar that will operate the service was today delivered to the Chiltern Railways Traincare Depot near Stourbridge Junction.  PPM is very grateful to Chiltern Railways for their help and support with this operation.
27th October 2005
PPM RAILCAR RECEIVES ENGINEERING ACCEPTANCE CERTIFICATES FOR OPERATION ON NETWORK RAIL BRANCH
Vehicle No. 999 900, a PPM 50 Light Railcar, has received acceptance certification for operation on the Stourbridge Town branch of the Network Rail system under derogation from Railway Group Standards.  CORREL Rail Ltd, an approved vehicle acceptance body (VAB), has issued the railcar's Certificate of Conformance for Vehicle Design, Certificate of Conformance for Vehicle Maintenance, Certificate of Safety Examination and Certificate of Engineering Acceptance. These documents form a significant part of the requirements for Network Rail's approval of the Stourbridge operation under the terms of the derogation, which was approved by the Rail Safety & Standards Board on 5th October.
27th October 2005
WENSLEYDALE COMMUNITY RAILCAR SYNDICATE
As reported in the Birmingham Post (21st October), Local Transport Today (13th October) and Tramways & Urban Transit (September issue), the Wensleydale Community Railcar Syndicate is raising funds for the design and construction of larger PPM railcars to meet the requirements of the Wensleydale Railway and other community rail lines.  Information about the syndicate has been distributed to existing PPM supporters, and other enquiries are being received and will be responded to appropriately.
14th October 2005
STOURBRIDGE - CRUCIAL ASSENT GRANTED BY RAIL SAFETY BOARD
On 13th September, PPM learned that the Rail Safety & Standards Board had approved the approach from Network Rail aimed at enabling passenger service on the Stourbridge Town branch using PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900.  Derogation 05/090/DGN, issued on 5th October, authorises Network Rail to evaluate and approve the method of operation without insisting on full compliance with Railway Group Standards.  The development also paves the way for the issue of the railcar's Certificate of Engineering Acceptance by CORREL Rail Ltd, the project's vehicle acceptance body (VAB).
PPM and Pre Metro Operations Ltd (the train operator for the Stourbridge operation) are already engaged in providing Network Rail with the information required for final approval.  The PPM concept of lightweight, environmentally-friendly railcars and trams is designed for low-speed transport systems where application of main line railway standards is inappropriate
12th October 2005
ANIMATED PICTURE SEQUENCE - PPM RAILCAR CROSSING RIVER SWALE
The latest feature on the PPM website is an animated sequence of images showing PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900 on the Wensleydale Railway's Swale Bridge.  It can be found in the Photo Archive (part of the Press Room) along with a wide selection of pictures showing the history of PPM developments and operations.
4th October 2005
PPM 50 RAILCAR RETURNS TO WEST MIDLANDS
Vehicle No. 999 900 travelled back from the Wensleydale Railway to PPM's base at Cradley Heath on 4th October.  Following its highly successful public operation in North Yorkshire, the vehicle - which has also seen passenger service at the Chasewater Railway and the Great Central Railway, as well as development running on the Severn Valley Railway and the national network's Stourbridge Town branch - has returned to its birthplace for the first time in four years.  The railcar will receive maintenance attention at Cradley Heath prior to further public use.
3rd October 2005 PUBLIC SERVICES ON WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY LEAD TO SURGE IN MEDIA COVERAGE
The successful use of a PPM 50 Light Railcar for passenger service on a section of the Wensleydale Railway during September was reflected in an explosion of media attention, focusing both on the vehicle technology and on the WR's achievements and campaign for reopening the Northallerton link.  Details of press, radio and TV reports are listed on the Media Coverage page, and the operation has also generated new passenger, rail industry and media comment.
28th September 2005
OVER 700 JOURNEYS MADE BY PPM SHUTTLE ON WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY
Results from the demonstration public service on the Wensleydale Railway have shown how successful the operation was, even though it ran for just eight days and required a bus connection to complete the route into Northallerton.  Over 700 fare-paying passenger journeys were made on the service, which connected with WR trains at Leeming Bar.  Many passengers used it to visit shops and services in Northallerton, as well as for main line rail connections, proving the attraction of rail transport over alternative modes.
A joint press release has been issued to report the success of the operation, which the WR/PPM partnership took from a standing start to public service in less than 50 days.
28th September 2005 WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY REPORTS SUCCESS OF PPM DEMONSTRATION SERVICE
On 23rd September Ruth Annison, chairman of Wensleydale Railway plc, reported on the recent demonstration public service between Northallerton and Leeming Bar to the 'Marketing Community Rail' national conference of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.
ACoRP chairman Peter Roberts identified the WR as a model for community rail development and especially praised The Wensleydale Connection newsletter.  Mrs Annison explained how the demonstration service had provided a stepping stone both to larger PPM Community Railcars and to the WR's extension to Northallerton main line station - entirely achieving the objectives of both organisations.  Conference delegates showed a keen interest in the operation in the questions asked after her speech.
21st September 2005
PICTURES OF OPERATION ON THE WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY
The Photo Archive now includes pictures of the PPM 50 railcar taken on the Wensleydale Railway during the press launch on 12th September.  The archive is one of many sources of images and information in the Press Room, the PPM online information resource.
20th September 2005
CONTINUING SUCCESS OF CAMBRIAN PPM OPERATION
The Cambrian Railways Society in Oswestry has hosted a PPM 30 District Tram since April 2004.  Word has reached PPM of the positive light in which the vehicle is being seen.  Although limited to running on the Society's short demonstration track, 'Car 11' is very popular with both visitors and local residents, with many people showing interest in the PPM flywheel energy storage driveline.  The tramcar is in operation most weekends - contact the Society for details.
14th September 2005
PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCES START OF PPM SERVICE ON WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY TOMORROW
PPM and the Wensleydale Railway have issued a joint press release to mark the start of public services between Northallerton and Leeming Bar from Thursday 15th September until Friday 23rd September (except Sunday).  Click here for timetable details.
13th September 2005 VIDEO CLIP OF PPM 50 LIGHT RAILCAR ON WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY
A short clip is now available showing the PPM 50 vehicle in action on 12th September at the press launch of the Leeming Bar to Northallerton service.  To view this and other video footage, click on dialup or broadband to suit your internet connection.
13th September 2005
WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY OPERATION LAUNCHED - PUBLIC SERVICE TO RUN THURSDAY 15th TO FRIDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER (SUNDAY EXCEPTED)
Public services on the Leeming Bar-Northallerton section of the Wensleydale Railway will start on Thursday 15th September and are planned to operate until Friday 23rd September daily except Sunday. To provide an integrated link with Northallerton, the PPM 50 railcar will connect with a bus service at a specially-built interchange point where the railway comes closest to the town. Passengers will be able to join the service at Leeming Bar station or at bus pick-up points in Northallerton, including at the main line railway station.
The PPM operation was launched to the press on 12th September, generating much media coverage - see Media Coverage page.
9th September 2005
LIGHT RAIL "FASTER, MORE COST EFFECTIVE AND BETTER AT REDUCING CONGESTION"
The first issue of Transport Times reports on findings that suggest light rail public transport produces better results than bus systems.  Excerpts from the report on Professor Richard Knowles's results, presented to the Royal Geographical Society, can be read on the Media Comment page.  Professor Knowles was considering conventional Supertram systems but identified the need to reduce the high cost of light rail - PPM technology is more affordable and so means that quality transport can be adopted by more towns and cities for an even greater effect.
6th September 2005
PPM RAILCAR RUNS ON WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY
The PPM 50 Light Railcar No. 999 900 successfully undertook its first trial operation on the Wensleydale Railway in North Yorkshire today.  With PPM and WR staff on board, the vehicle made three trips from Leeming Bar eastwards towards Northallerton and back.  This section of line is not currently available to passengers on WR trains; its restoration to public service is being promoted this month with a limited passenger operation using the PPM railcar.
5th September 2005
NORTHALLERTON TO LEEMING BAR BY PPM AND WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY
Wensleydale Railway plc and PPM have issued a joint press release  to announce the forthcoming operation of a PPM 50 Light Railcar in public service between Northallerton and Leeming Bar, with a Press Launch on Monday 12th September.  At Leeming Bar, the railcar will connect with the existing WR trains to Redmire.  The service will run for a limited period in September.  It will demonstrate the potential both of the WR's planned Northallerton extension and of the joint development of a new type of railcar for Community Light Rail use.
5th September 2005
THE WENSLEYDALE CONNECTION - SPECIAL EDITION NEWSLETTER
A special issue of Parry News has been published to mark the 'Parry' companies' joint work with the Wensleydale Railway.  The Wensleydale Connection  contains news, technical information and comment on the development of high-quality public transport for the local communities in North Yorkshire and elsewhere. The newsletter is included in the Newsletter Archive and on the Community Rail Transport page.
4th September 2005 CHRISTIAN WOLMAR IN PRAISE OF NON-ELECTRIFIED TRAMS AND PPM's ACHIEVEMENTS
In an article entitled "Rail ultra-lite! A powerful case for self-powered trams" in Issue 521 of RAIL magazine, Christian Wolmar - one of Britain's foremost voices on transport matters - argues strongly in favour of the adoption of affordable light rail technology, as championed by PPM, with specific reference to the successful operation of a PPM 35 vehicle by Bristol Electric Railbus. Relevant quotes from the article are included on the Media Comment page.
4th September 2005 NEW MEDIA COMMENT PAGE
In view of the increasing number of mentions of PPM's concepts and achievements in the press, a new Media Comment page has been added to the Press Room. Journalistic references are quoted on this page, which includes a number of items previously listed elsewhere on this site.
1st September 2005 PPM FOR CAR-FREE CITIES
The development of PPM technology and its ability to provide affordable, environmentally-friendly transport without electrification has caught the attention of the online publication Carfree Times.  An article in the September 2005 issue highlights the advantages of "wireless" trams and the key role that "lightweighting" of vehicles has to play in improving the environmental performance of transport.  As with other mentions of PPM in the media, a reference has been added to the Media Coverage page.
31st August 2005
PPM RAILCAR MOVES TO WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY
The PPM 50 Light Railcar was delivered to Leeming Bar yard on the Wensleydale Railway in North Yorkshire on 25th August.  It is visiting until the end of September as part of a joint arrangement with the WR, where it will undertake promotional trials.  The visit will boost projects to extend the Wensleydale line to Northallerton and to create a new form of rural railway operation - Community Light Rail.  The picture (right) shows the PPM 50 vehicle being unloaded at Leeming Bar.
25th August 2005
FAREWELL TO CHASEWATER - FOR NOW
In July 2003, the PPM 50 light railcar needed to be moved at just one day's notice following vandalism damage. There can be few organisations as responsive as the Chasewater Railway and on hearing of PPM's predicament they made immediate arrangements to receive the vehicle at the Brownhills West site.
In the subsequent two years, the railway has provided an ideal location for driver training, vehicle shakedown and demonstrations.  The PPM 50 has now departed for a short stay in Yorkshire prior to its move to Stourbridge, but the flexible and co-operative approach of the Chasewater Railway's managers makes this an ideal resource for future R&D partnerships.
24th August 2005
STOURBRIDGE OPERATION MOVES CLOSER
The prospect of passenger services using a PPM 50 light railcar on the Stourbridge Town branch has become closer with work being undertaken by Network Rail, the national infrastructure operator, and CORREL Rail, the vehicle acceptance body which is performing the essential examinations of the railcar.
A News Release has been produced and included on the Press Releases page.  Industry journal Modern Railways has reported the news in its September 2005 edition.
18th August 2005 LISTING OF NEWS ITEMS AMENDED FOR EASIER USE
This page now carries items going back approximately one year, with older updates listed on a separate News Archive pages.  Links to the News Archive are provided at the top and bottom of this page.  The change ensures that the Latest News page does not become too slow to open, while remaining a single listing of recent updates.
26th July 2005
PPM 50 ALLOCATED NATIONAL RAIL SYSTEM RUNNING NUMBER
As part of the necessary steps to achieve operation on the Network Rail system, the PPM 50 vehicle which will be used in public service on the Stourbridge Town branch has been allocated a number on the Rolling Stock Library database.  The official identification of the vehicle will be 999 900.
A brief announcement has been issued to the railway press to commemorate this step.
20th July 2005
STANDING PASSENGERS, SAFETY AND ATTRACTIVE PUBLIC TRANSPORT
The Express & Star newspaper, covering PPM's home region, carried a story on 20th July proposing that signs be displayed in buses warning passengers not to stand before the bus has stopped, to prevent accidents that occur when the vehicle lurches or brakes.
However, the time spent at bus stops will have to go up if all passengers are to leave and find their seats while the vehicle is stationary.  If standing passengers are discouraged, then fewer people can be carried per vehicle, more buses (and road space) are needed for the same traffic, journey times rise - and the car suddenly becomes more attractive.
Yet a quick look at the way people use public transport shows that for short journeys many people choose to stand because it is more convenient, as described in PPM's FAQs.
On a rail system such as a tramway, there is no need to stop people choosing to stand, as the vehicle movement is smooth and the tram cannot swerve.  In the provision of public transport, there are some things that buses cannot do.
12th July 2005
REVISED HOME PAGE SHOWS PPM's RANGE
The website's Home Page has been updated to show some of the variety of vehicles that can be constructed with PPM technology.  Modern image and heritage outline, railcars and trams, large vehicles and small 'people-movers': all benefit from PPM flywheel energy storage, whatever the track gauge, available power source or type of transport system.
7th July 2005
MORE PICTURES ADDED TO ONLINE PHOTO ARCHIVE
The PPM Photo Archive has been improved with new pictures, including views of the public open days at the Chasewater Railway on 2nd April and 14th May, and a watercolour by artist Derek Oldfield NDD showing a PPM railcar on the Wensleydale Railway.
Moving pictures of PPM vehicles can be seen in the Video Archive [broadband : dialup].  Both archives can be found in the PPM Press Room, which contains a wide range of information.
4th July 2005
RAIL PROFESSIONAL: SUPPORT FOR AFFORDABLE LIGHT RAIL
The July 2005 issue of Rail Professional includes a feature article by Peter Plisner, BBC Midlands transport correspondent, on the potential for innovative light rail to improve transport where neither traditional 'heavy' rail nor conventional light rail can be justified.  Quotes from the article in support of PPM developments by Dr Paul Salveson of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) and by Lords Snape and Bradshaw are included on this site's Industry Comment  and Political Comment pages.
Further evidence of PPM's relevance to improving transport provision is given in another article in July's Rail Professional, where Alan Whitehouse - transport correspondent for BBC North - identifies the tendency of rail transport to reduce car use where buses cannot: see the Media Comment page.
Media references to PPM are listed on the Media Coverage page.
29th June 2005 SPECIFICATION OF PPM ARTICULATED COMMUNITY RAILCAR
Details of the Community Railcar, which is to be developed for use on the Wensleydale Railway, are now available on this site.  Technical information about the PPM ACR, including a printable version, can be found on the Products page.
29th June 2005 PARRY NEWS ISSUE 42 PUBLISHED
Newsletter including: Rural Light Rail For Wensleydale; Network Rail Tackles Stourbridge 'Catch-22'; PPM Open Days Attract Hundreds; Support For Tramway Track Innovation; Political Support For Transport Innovation; Bogie Patent Application
24th June 2005 C.I.L.T. VISIT AND TALK AT CHASEWATER ON 19th JULY
The Mercia Group of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport is holding a PPM-themed evening at the Chasewater Railway on Tuesday 19th July, including a trip on the PPM 50 light railcar and a presentation by PPM's Projects Manager Caspar Lucas.
Venue: Brownhills West station, Chasewater Railway.  Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start.  Further information can be obtained by contacting PPM.  Light refreshments provided.
22nd June 2005
COMMUNITY LIGHT RAIL CONCEPT RECEIVES FURTHER BACKING
Writing in the July 2005 edition of Modern Railways, respected industry observer Alan Williams provides further evidence of the role of Community Light Rail in securing the future of Britain's local and rural railways.  He points out the need for "what might be called 'light rail' operating rules, similar to tramways" and "a separate, 'Community Railway' fleet of rolling stock'.  This follows a similar call from the House of Commons Transport Committee in its Rural Railways report.
Excerpts from Alan Williams's column are quoted on the Media Comment page.
21st June 2005
SALE OF LIMITED EDITION PRINTS TO FUND WENSLEYDALE COMMUNITY RAILCAR CONSTRUCTION
As part of the joint railcar development project with the Wensleydale Railway, a limited edition of prints - individually signed and numbered by artist Derek Oldfield NDD - has been commissioned, showing the Wensleydale Community Railcar in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. 
Click on the picture (above) for a larger image.  Prints can be purchased for £45 each (including postage and packing within the UK), of which £30 will go directly to the development fund.  Applications should be sent to Parry People Movers Ltd (Wensleydale Community Railcar), Overend Road, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 7DD, UK.
Supporters can also join the Wensleydale Community Railcar Syndicate - please contact PPM for details.
11th June 2005
JOINT DEVELOPMENT WITH WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY - SYNDICATE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR NEW COMMUNITY RAILCAR
Two innovators in the UK transport market have joined forces to develop a new kind of modern rural railway: the Community Light Railway, based on best environmental practice as well as offering clean, quiet and comfortable passenger transport.  PPM and the Wensleydale Railway have launched a programme for the introduction of energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly railcars with the intention of providing public services between Northallerton and Garsdale, including operation within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Click here to read the joint press release from the WR and PPM.
9th June 2005
COMMUNITY LIGHT RAIL DESCRIBED IN NEW LEAFLET
The concept of Community Light Rail - which makes local rail services more attractive, more acceptable and more affordable as well as providing a way to reopen closed lines - is introduced in a new leaflet which can be downloaded from the Brochures & Leaflets page.
24th May 2005 STOURBRIDGE DELAYS CRITICISED IN PARLIAMENT FOR DAMAGING RAIL DEVELOPMENT
On 24th May the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the British parliament, heard about the PPM trial operation on the Stourbridge Town branch.  Lords Snape and Bradshaw both emphasised the unreasonable difficulties encountered in achieving public operation and pointed out the advantages to be gained by the development of community railways through technical innovation.
See the Political Comment page for the relevant excerpts from the debate.
23rd May 2005
IMECHE PANEL'S TECHNICAL VISIT ON 28th JUNE
PPM and the Chasewater Railway are pleased to be hosting a technical visit organised by the Birmingham Young Members' Panel of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The visit, which will include an exclusive trip on the Chasewater Railway, will take place in the evening of Tuesday 28th June.
16th May 2005
SUCCESS FOR PPM AT CHASEWATER COMMUNITY RAIL EVENT
Over five hundred passenger journeys were made on the PPM 50 Light Railcar on Saturday 14th May, when PPM and the Chasewater Railway  participated in Community Rail Day, co-ordinated by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.  The demonstration proved that PPM technology is ready and able to provide a public Community Light Rail service.
Click here to read the press release issued following the event, and here to see a selection of comments made by passengers who used PPM to travel between Brownhills West, Lakeside and Chasewater Heaths.
6th May 2005
PATENT APPLICATION FOR PPM TECHNOLOGY BOGIE
PPM's technology licensors, JPM Parry & Associates Ltd, have filed a United Kingdom patent application - No. 0508150.0 Bogie Flywheel System.  The new invention allows the complete powertrain to be mounted within the bogie: a space-saving breakthrough made possible by the downsized driveline of PPM technology.  PPM intends to exploit the development to supply a range of larger bogie vehicles and individual bogies for fitting to customers' own bodywork.
3rd May 2005
NEW FAQ PAGE
The Frequently Asked Questions page has been completely revised with new questions and answers to reflect the queries we have received recently.  Links included in many of the questions will guide you to parts of the site where further information can be found.
21st April 2005 PPM IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Recent developments concerning urban light rail and community railways have focused attention from the general and specialist media on PPM's concepts and developments.  See the Media Coverage and Industry Comment pages for details.
18th April 2005
LOAN STOCK ISSUE EXTENDED
The issue of Unsecured Convertible 6.5% Loan Stock, to fund PPM's continuing demonstration and promotion activities and provide equity for the construction of the first larger, Community Railcar has been extended to the end of May 2005.
14th April 2005
FREE OPEN DAY AT CHASEWATER TO MARK COMMUNITY RAIL DAY, 14th MAY 2005
PPM is pleased to announce a further public open day at the Chasewater Railway on Saturday 14th May.  Free rides on the PPM light railcar between Brownhills West and Chasewater Heaths will be available between 13.00 and 16.00.  The event forms part of Community Rail Day, co-ordinated by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.
Click here to see PPM's press announcement.
5th April 2005 TRANSPORT COMMITTEE SUPPORTS LIGHT RAIL INNOVATIONS
The House of Commons Transport Committee has released its Tenth Report, "Integrated Transport: the Future of Light Rail and Modern Trams in the United Kingdom".  The report supports innovations such as PPM's and makes specific criticisms of the slow approvals process for the Stourbridge trial for putting at risk the partnerships needed to develop and commercialise new technologies.
Click here to see the press release from associate company JPM Parry & Associates Ltd responding to the report.
5th April 2005
CHASEWATER OPEN DAY SUCCESS
Nearly three hundred passenger journeys on the PPM 50 Light Railcar were made in just a few hours at the open day on 2nd April.  The event was held at the Chasewater Railway to promote Community Light Rail for reopening the nearby disused rail line through Brownhills, and the vehicle carried special destination boards for Brownhills and Walsall.
April 2005 PARRY NEWS ISSUE 41 PUBLISHED
Newsletter including: Transport Committee Calls Parry/Holdfast Team as Witnesses to Light Rail Enquiry; PPM Public Open Day on 2nd April; Hybrid Solution Proposed for Railways; Refurbished Car 6 Returns to Service; Crew Training Restarts at Chasewater; PPM Featured in Two New Books.
29th March 2005
CAMBRIAN RAILWAYS SOCIETY RECOMMENCE PPM SERVICE FOR 2005
PPM 30 District Tram 'Car 11' was back in service on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th March giving rides to the public in Oswestry, Shropshire.  Details of future operating dates can be obtained from the Cambrian Railways Society.
29th March 2005
TRANSPORT COMMITTEE: RECORD OF EVIDENCE NOW AVAILABLE
The evidence given by Holdfast Carpet Track Ltd and JPM Parry & Associates Ltd to the UK's House of Commons Select Committee on Transport is now available in written form.  Click here to see the uncorrected transcript of oral evidence given on 14th March.
24th March 2005
ALL WELCOME! CONFIRMATION OF OPEN DAY AT CHASEWATER RAILWAY ON 2nd APRIL
The PPM 50 light railcar will provide a free service between Brownhills West and Chasewater Heaths stations on the Chasewater Railway on Saturday 2nd April between 1pm and 4pm.  The event will demonstrate Community Light Rail as an option for reopening the disused rail link to Brownhills.
If required, transport can be provided from Lichfield Trent Valley station: please contact us to confirm requirements.
Click here to see the press release announcing the open day.
21st March 2005

PPM WELCOMES TRANSPORT COMMITTEE'S RURAL RAILWAYS REPORT
The Fifth Report from the House of Commons Select Committee on Transport makes several conclusions which point the way to PPM-type solutions for the challenges facing Britain's rural railways.
Click here to see PPM's press release responding to the report.

15th March 2005 TRANSPORT COMMITTEE SUPPORTS COMMUNITY LIGHT RAIL CONCEPT
The House of Commons Transport Committee, made up of members of the UK parliament, has endorsed the principles behind Community Light Rail in its report on Rural Railways, published on 15th March.
One of the final recommendations calls for "innovative thinking" in the rolling stock market and refers to the potential for light rail technology to provide a way forward for local and rural railways.
PPM has long advocated the advantages of operating secondary railways according to local conditions, an approach that is now supported by the Strategic Rail Authority's Community Rail programme (see Latest News, 22nd November 2004). Although the recommendation is for the longer term, PPM's solutions are available now - so benefits can be reaped sooner.
The relevant excerpt from the Committee's report can be seen on the Political Comment page.
15th March, 2005 UK PARLIAMENT LIGHT RAIL INQUIRY: CARPET TRACK AND PPM EXPERIENCE GIVEN
PPM's associate companies JPM Parry & Associates Ltd and Holdfast Carpet Track Ltd appeared before the House of Commons Transport Committee on 14th March to give evidence to their inquiry into light rail and modern trams in Britain.  Particular attention was paid to the still-unresolved saga of obtaining permission to operate on the Stourbridge Town branch, and to the difficulties of introducing innovations such as shallow section tramway track to the UK transport market.
Click here to hear an audio version of the proceedings.
9th March, 2005
UK GOVERNMENT RECOGNISES LIGHT RAIL ROLE IN KEEPING TRAIN ROUTES OPEN
Speaking at the national rail conference in London on 9th March, Transport Secretary Alistair Darling identified light rail as a way forward for underused railway lines.  PPM's Community Light Rail concept provides a solution that will reduce costs and increase revenue.  Without prohibitively costly electrification and infrastructure work, a quality transport system can be implemented, retaining use of the rail transport corridor and avoiding adding to road congestion with buses.
Mr Darling's comments are included on the Political Comment page.
9th March, 2005
ADVANCE NOTICE: PPM OPEN DAY AT CHASEWATER ON 2nd APRIL
With the generous co-operation of the Chasewater Railway, an open day will be held on Saturday 2nd April to demonstrate PPM technology in action.  The event is particularly relevant to the local area, where recent discussions have taken place about reopening the rail link from Brownhills to Walsall. 
Between 1pm and 4pm, the public is invited to travel free between Brownhills West (in the Chasewater Country Park) and Chasewater Heaths on the PPM 50 vehicle 'Car 12'.
For directions, follow the link above to the railway's website. 
25th February, 2005
PPM-TYPE HYBRIDS PROMOTED AS FUTURE POWER TECHNOLOGY
The Sir Robert Reid Lecture on 24th February, organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, was given by Adrian Lyons, Director General of the Railway Forum.  In a speech entitled "The Future Perfect? Railway Strategies for the 21st Century", Mr Lyons referred directly to the potential of hybrid solutions and flywheel energy storage to provide solutions to the challenges facing the rail industry.  His words on future technologies have been added to the Industry Comment page.
23rd February, 2005 NEW FAQ: FLYWHEELS FOR BUSES AND OTHER VEHICLES
In response to a question sent in to us about whether PPM flywheel technology could be used on buses, a new question and answer has been added to the Frequently Asked Questions page.  PPM energy storage can be adapted to any type of vehicle to give efficiency and environmental gains.
23rd February, 2005 UK's LOCAL RAILWAYS: "FIVE YEARS TO DOUBLE RIDERSHIP"
Britain's Community Railways programme may only give local and rural lines a short time to prove their worth before decisions are taken about their future.  Chris Austin, Executive Director - Community Rail Development at the Strategic Rail Authority, has said that as a general rule the numbers of people travelling need to double within five years "where capacity allowed".
PPM, however, provides a different way of looking at the challenge.  The Community Light Rail approach means increased attractiveness, lower costs and simpler infrastructure - making capacity improvement more affordable - and reduces the difference between revenue and cost far more effectively than traditional "heavy rail".
6th February, 2005
VIDEO ARCHIVE: NEW CLIP ADDED
The PPM Video Archive (Dial-Up:Broadband) has had a new clip added, showing people mover vehicle Car 6 on PPM's demonstration track.
2nd February, 2005
IMPROVED VIDEO ARCHIVE WITH NEW CLIPS OF PPM 50
The Video Archive has been improved.  Separate pages for users with Dial-Up and Broadband connections are now available with an improved page layout.  New video clips with sound have been added, showing the PPM 50 Light Railcar at the Chasewater Railway.
24th January, 2005
NEW PPM LEAFLET, NEW PAGE OF DOWNLOADABLE BROCHURES
A new leaflet is now available in printable format, accessible from the Products page.  A new Brochures & Leaflets page groups together all such downloadable information and can be accessed from the Press Room and the e-PPM Fun Page.
14th January, 2005 PPM's POTENTIAL DESCRIBED IN UK PARLIAMENT
Parry People Movers was specifically referred to in a House of Commons Parliamentary Debate on 11th January.  The Member of Parliament for Dudley North, Mr Ross Cranston QC, MP, made his comments during the debate on Community Railways.  For details, see the Political Comment page.
12th January, 2005
LOAN STOCK ISSUE
As referred to in Local Transport Today of 6th January, the new issue of Unsecured Convertible 6.5% Loan Stock to fund PPM's continuing demonstration and promotion activities and to provide equity for the construction of the first PPM 80 Community Railcar has been launched.
The issue is aimed at existing holders of PPM shares and loan stock.  Following the Local Transport Today article, other enquiries are being received and will be responded to appropriately.
10th January, 2005 ENGINEERING THE WORLD - TECHNOLOGY FOR ALL!
The approach to engineering that produced the PPM concept will be featured in a public event on 8th February.  Mark Parry, Director of PPM's associate company JPM Parry & Associates Ltd, and Petter Matthews, Director of Engineers Against Poverty, will be speaking in Birmingham, UK, about practical approaches to poverty alleviation.  The event, organised by the Birmingham Young Members' Panel of the IMechE and supported by the institution's Midland Region, is free and open to all.
For information click here.
9th January, 2005 COMMUNITY RAILCAR LOAN STOCK ISSUE
PPM is launching an issue of unsecured convertible loan stock to finance the construction of the first PPM 80 Community Railcar. Further details will be available on this page shortly.
7th January, 2005 REVISED PAGE BANNER AND LINKS
The format of links within this site has changed.  It is now possible to access details of PPM's Technology, Community Rail Transport role and associated companies JPM Parry & Associates Ltd, Pre Metro Operations Ltd and Holdfast Carpet Track Ltd directly from the top of each page.

 

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