Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Friday, May 06, 2011

one of the elements ...

One of the vehicles we'll be looking at for sections of the New S&D is the Parry People Mover. Whilst obviously not suitable for long disytance trains on the main line it may well have a valuable role providing local services on sections of the main line and many services on the branches. It also runs just as well as a tram on street running lines which will connect with the New S&D at various points.

A PPM press release follows.

JPM Parry & Associates Ltd - consultancy and project management JPM Parry & Associates Ltd - consultancy and project management Pre Metro Operations Ltd - transport operation Pre Metro Operations Ltd - transport operation Carpet Track - shallow section tramway track Carpet Track - shallow section tramway track

Tuesday 9th November 2010 - A PRESS RELEASE FROM:




Domestic and export market interest stimulates development work

Parry People Movers Ltd is preparing for a future in which its affordable and environmentally-friendly transport technology is becoming more and more attractive. Actions are being taken as a result of the success of its pioneering commercial application and approaches from potential customers in both domestic and international markets.

The West Midlands-based company is a leader in low-carbon transport having supplied railcars now used in full passenger service on the short Stourbridge Town branch line, part of the London Midland franchise and operated under subcontract by Pre Metro Operations Ltd. Since their introduction in 2009, over 600,000 passenger journeys have been made on the two railcars at Stourbridge with reliability of over 99.4% throughout 2010. The new railcars have enabled service frequency to be increased, costs to be halved and carbon emissions cut by two-thirds. Passenger numbers on the branch have increased significantly in the same time.

Parry People Movers’ concept of lightweight, energy-efficient rail vehicles is proving how to minimise the environmental impact of transport and permits the revival of branch lines. It has created a new category of ‘super-hybrid’ system, with a secondary power system more powerful than the prime mover. The same technology can be applied to street tramways without needing electrification – a major driver of cost and complexity.

The logic behind branch line revival is emphasized by figures recently released by the Association of Train Operating Companies showing that on some branch lines passenger numbers have risen by up to 55% in twelve months alone. A key factor in making branch lines more attractive to passengers is making the service better. As demonstrated at Stourbridge, Parry People Movers technology can achieve improvements leading to passenger growth highly cost-effectively (and at the same time can release main line trains from the branches so that capacity on the main lines can be increased).

The technology’s application to urban tramways – which will be much less expensive and disruptive to construct than conventional tram systems – has been boosted by the UK Government’s recent vote of confidence in light rail systems, deciding to support extensions and improvements to those in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Nottingham and Tyne & Wear supported despite the current financial climate.

The firm’s preparations for the future include:

The forthcoming issue of a further 500,000 shares in accordance with the approval given by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting on 5th July 2010. New investment capital will be used for collaborative technical development and marketing activities.

Plans for the purchase of the intellectual property behind the Parry People Movers venture (currently the subject of an exclusive licence from the company’s technical associates JPM Parry & Associates Ltd), as a result of which the intellectual property rights will be revalued upwards in the light of proven advantages

The publication of a Plan of Action laying out the company’s plans and explaining the economic, social and environmental rationale behind its developments (this can be seen at http://www.parrypeoplemovers.com/pdf/2010-09-02%20Action%20Plan.pdf

Ongoing negotiations with a number of industrial partners with the objective of collaboration to develop the company’s product range to include vehicles that are both larger and faster than the 60-passenger ‘Class 139’ type operating at Stourbridge

Design activities with a view to making new vehicles suitable for export markets, including those where it is appropriate for complete rolling chassis supplied from the UK to be fitted with locally-manufactured bodies

Recent market developments include:

High-level discussions with proposed operators, infrastructure controllers and local authorities regarding the use of Parry People Movers vehicles on three short routes in England where new operations would provide useful public transport links to established main line rail services

Expressions of interest in the use of Parry People Movers vehicles on proposed urban transport systems in three south east Asian countries

Discussions already undertaken with commercial developers on the potential for Parry People Movers vehicles to provide public transport services in an African capital city

The company’s chairman, John Parry, said: ‘Our company has arrived on the transport scene and its products are delivering stunning results in public service on the Stourbridge Town branch line. This is making the case for further application of the technology and this is being recognised internationally. We are preparing for a busy future.’


Parry People Movers Ltd (PPML) was founded in 1991 to develop rail transport based on a new innovation: the flywheel energy store, which allows vehicles to run extremely efficiently and to recapture their braking energy for re-use when accelerating. The company's shares are listed on the PLUS Market (Ticker code: PPM).

PPML's rail vehicles offer the quality of modern light rail transport without the need for electrical power supply, giving excellent environmental performance and energy efficiency at lower costs than conventional technology.

PPML technology can be used equally on railways and on urban tramways. The company’s vehicles are fully compliant with accessibility regulations. The technology used in PPML's vehicles is licensed to the Company by JPM Parry & Associates Limited, a West Midlands engineering firm specialising in overseas development, innovative transport and energy/environmental issues.

Two Parry People Movers railcars, known as ‘Class 139’, are used to operate all passenger services on the Stourbridge Town branch, part of the London Midland network, which runs between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town stations and at just over three-quarters of a mile long is the shortest rail route in Britain.

The rail industry’s target for services operated is 99% and the Stourbridge operation has, on average, exceeded this target for the whole of 2010. Service reliability figures for the Stourbridge Town branch show the percentage of services run compared to the timetable.

Calculations by PPML show that the Class 153 diesel trains previously used on the Stourbridge Town branch emitted an estimated 810kg of carbon dioxide a day, while the new lightweight Class 139 vehicles from Parry People Movers Ltd have brought this down to 240kg per day.

Transport contributes around 29% of the UK’s total carbon emissions.

Contact: Parry People Movers Limited, Overend Road, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 7DD

Telephone: +44 (0)1384 569553, Fax: +44 (0)1384 637753

E-mail: info@parrypeoplemovers.com, Website: www.parrypeoplemovers.com

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