Quiet, light, fuel efficient and reliable – public transport for the 21st century
Caspar Lucas, Parry’s Projects Manager sent good news last week. London Midland had announced that the service by environment-friendly Parry People Movers low energy railcars scored 99.5% reliability in 2010 – providing nearly seventy thousand services for passengers, on schedule and on time.
On its website, London Midland noted:
“Over 68,000 timetabled trips along the line were made by the two railcars in 2010. The number of passenger journeys made on the branch during the year was 465,000. Passenger numbers rose by around 20% compared to 2009, indicating the popularity of the service with the travelling public.
“The operation is not only a technical innovation, but an operating one as well. The flywheel-hybrid Parry People Movers railcars are operated and maintained under subcontract by Pre Metro Operations Ltd, bringing a totally new approach to the provision of cost-effective short branch line rail services.”
John Parry from Cradley Heath designs and building light tramway systems for smaller towns, and light rail vehicles for use on regional railways. Parry People Movers Ltd (PPM) was founded in 1992 and is owned by about 200 shareholders.
Parry People Movers run on both road and rail and are much cheaper to build, install and operate than conventional trams. They are low-emission, highly fuel-efficient and quiet, using flywheel technology which has been used by racing engine builders for many years.
The track needs none of the massive footings of conventional trams, so underground services are not disturbed. The tram is no bigger than a bus, makes no ‘local emissions’ and needs no overhead poles and wires. It can become a zero emission operation in cities with closely spaced stops; the flywheel can be charged (in approximately 30 seconds) from an intermittent electrical supply at each stop.
The flywheel stores sufficient energy for the vehicle to reach the next stop in normal operation, but a battery is provided for emergency use. It could be powered from solar cells or other renewable sources of electricity.
PPM vehicles’ level access from platforms makes them easy to use by people of limited mobility and by 2006 they had safely carried more than 100,000 passengers in Bristol, Brighton, Barking, Swansea, Birmingham and elsewhere.