The Stourbridge Shuttle remains the UK’s most reliable train operation, recording an average PPM rating of 99.84% so far this year.
It’s also beginning to see patronage figures return to normal as restrictions have been lifted, with the service carrying over 100,000 passengers since the beginning of the railway year.
Earlier in March, Pre Metro submitted several bids to the Department for Transport’s “Restoring Your Railway” scheme, one of which aims to establish a passenger service between Stourbridge and Brierley Hill.
Whilst still awaiting for a response from the DfT, the local train operator has upgraded and improved the service; whilst still retaining their incredible reliability rating.
With new track and vehicle improvements implemented between February and May 2021, returning passengers are having a more comfortable experience and the vehicles have been more reliable.
Out of 25,062 services this year, only 50 have been missed due to unexpected incidents. That translates to just over 4hr out of service since the railway year began.
Pre Metro’s Head of Operations, Andrew Merrell, is incredibly pleased that the regional team of mechanics and drivers have been able retain their high levels of excellence despite the current pandemic.
“Our team has an incredible work ethic and we’ve manage to ensure services have remained running despite many Covid complications. At a time when it seems common for railway services to have been reduced or cancelled, we’ve managed to balance our resources and safely upgrade the service with minimal effect on our schedule, our staff, and our patronage.”
The Shuttle has proved to be an invaluable success since service began in 2009. With passenger figures expected to return to previous highs within the next two years, the Very Light Rail service could play a keep role in restoring railway patronage in Dudley.
Pre Metro Operations Ltd are hoping to retain this level of reliability with future VLR services they look to operate within the area – aiming to establish another 2 services within Dudley by 2025.