Pre Metro Operations
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|Franchise(s)||Open access operator|
Not subject to franchising
Commenced operations in June 2009
|Main route(s)||Stourbridge Junction - Stourbridge Town|
|Fleet size||2 Class 139s|
|Stations called at||2|
Pre Metro Operations Ltd is an open-access train operating company in the United Kingdom, based in Stourbridge in the West Midlands. It was founded by Philip Evans and John Parry in 1999 and commenced operations in June 2009 following a trial operation on the Stourbridge branch line in 2005/06.
Pre Metro Operations operate services on the short Stourbridge Town Branch Line on behalf of the West Midlands rail franchise, using two Class 139 railcars. During the current West Midlands franchise period, which is scheduled to run until March 2026, the service is branded as a West Midlands Railway service, operated on behalf of franchise-holder West Midlands Trains, with both railcars planned to be repainted into the new West Midlands Railway livery. Pre Metro Operations themselves are not subject to franchising as they are an open-access operator.
Pre Metro Operations were formed in 1999 as an independent train operating company, with the intention of running services on short branch lines across the UK using railcars built by Parry People Movers. The company received depot and operating licences from the ORR. This initiative followed a period where no other rail or tramway operator was prepared to undertake the Stourbridge operation. The company is now looking to expand its operations elsewhere in the UK and is not tied to any one vehicle manufacturer.
Between 2005 and 2006, a prototype Parry People Movers railcar, 999900, entered service on the Stourbridge Town Branch Line in order to test the viability of using PPMs on branch lines. Subsequently, it was decided to make the trial permanent. Two Class 139 railcars were constructed in 2008, and Pre Metro Operations used these to take over full operation of the line from London Midland in June 2009.
From the introduction of the service in June 2009 until the franchise changed hands on 10 December 2017, the service was branded as the London Midland Stourbridge Shuttle operated on behalf of franchise holder London Midland, with units painted in their standard green, white and grey colours. The service is now branded as a West Midlands Railway service.
Routes and services
From Monday to Saturday there are six trains per hour in both directions, with services running every ten minutes using a single Class 139 railcar, with the second Class 139 as a spare. An end-to-end journey on the branch line takes three minutes. Weekday services commence at around 0600 and draw to a close shortly after midnight, with Saturday services starting later and ending earlier.
On Sundays, there are four trains per hour operating every fifteen minutes in both directions, with services commencing around 1000 and ending around 2000.
Performance statistics for Pre Metro Operations are not officially released by the Office for Rail Regulation, being included in the total for West Midlands Trains. However, self-published data shows that Pre Metro Operations have a consistently high Public Performance Measure (PPM) that, since records began in 2011, has never fallen below 97.7%. Pre Metro Operations are the only existing train operating company ever to achieve a PPM score of 100.0%, having done so on fourteen separate occasions. As of February 2016, Pre Metro Operations' PPM score was 99.54%. If included in the ORR data, this would make Pre Metro Operations the most reliable train operating company in the United Kingdom in terms of PPM, as of 2015/16 Period 13.
The Pre Metro Operations fleet consists of two Class 139 railcars manufactured by Parry People Movers, numbered 139001 and 139002. During normal service, one railcar is used per day, with the other as a spare or undergoing maintenance.
The railcars are maintained at a small purpose-built depot at Stourbridge Junction.
|Class||Image||Type||Top Speed||Number||Routes Operated||Built|
|139 Parry People Mover||Railcar||40||64||2||Stourbridge Town Branch Line||2008|