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Stourbridge Town Branch
Stourbridge and Connecting West Midland Services
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This page shows images of the Stourbridge Junction to Stourbridge Town Branch, with images of the current Class 139 Parry People Movers plus some earlier 'heritage' DMUs. Modern images of other West Midland connecting services are also shown, including London Midland Class 172s in their first month of service in the area.
The Stourbridge Town Branch Line is a 0.8 miles (1.3 km) railway branch line, in Stourbridge, West Midlands. It is claimed to be the shortest branch line in Europe, and many miniature railways are certainly longer. Now used solely for passenger traffic, it was originally constructed to allow trans-shipment with the Stourbridge Town Arm of the Stourbridge Canal.
The passenger service along the branch is presently being operated by Class 139 Parry People Movers. Replacement buses ran from December 2008 until March 2009 due to the previous Class 153 being reallocated from December 2008, this being the date the Parry People Mover was originally intended to start working the service. However due to customer feedback, the Class 153 was re-introduced from 15 March until Mid June, when the Parry People Mover finally entered full service. For the first time in many years, a Sunday service is operated.
Opened in 1879, it has operated continually since, save for a short break for the First World War. The short and steeply-inclined branch originally carried both passenger traffic from nearby Stourbridge Junction to the terminus at Stourbridge Town and freight to Stourbridge Basin.
Although the branch line was originally double-tracked, after 1935 the two tracks were worked as two parallel single lines, with the non-passenger track used for freight workings beyond the station over a bridge across Foster Street (a bridge rebuilt in 1957 then subsequently demolished in 1967) towards the Stourbridge Basin. The station and branch were listed for closure under the Beeching Axe, but were later delisted in 1965.
The 1879 Stourbridge Town station survived mostly intact until February 1979 when it was demolished and the branch cut back by 70 yards, leaving room for a bus station.
The line was controlled by traditional semaphore signals until at least 1990, later than the adjacent main line. However, the line is currently worked by the 'One Train Working' system with a train staff as authority to occupy the line, and there are no working signals.
Sections on this Page
Parry Class 139-001
Parry Class 139-002
Preserved GWR Class 28xx 2-8-0 no.2887
Other Midlands Railway & Tramway Pages
Nottingham NET - Page 1 - Trams
Nottingham NET - Page 3 - Routes1
Nottingham NET - Page 2 - Routes2
www.stourbridgelineusergroup.info - Stourbridge Line Users Group
www.parrypeoplemovers.com - Parry People Movers
UK Excursion Vessels
World Ferry Fleets
Simplon Postcards. Home Page
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates