Posted in Railways on Friday 10th July 2009 at 9:05pm

There are some strange things trundling about the railway network these days! It's always interesting to watch people's reactions as the huge High Output Ballast Cleaning train snakes through a station, or when some obscure bit of On-Track Plant thunders by. However, most of the things us passengers can travel on have become a little uniform and dull over the years. But as someone with an interest in travelling on the rails as much as watching things go by, I'm always keen to try out the latest stuff to arrive - and I try to dodge the heritage snobbery which can cloud judgement so easily. So, having heard that London Midland now had both of their Parry People Mover flywheel railcars in operation, I took the opportunity of being in the Midlands to have a look.

The strangest thing on the rails? 139002 arrives at Stourbridge Town
The strangest thing on the rails? 139002 arrives at Stourbridge Town

The short journey from Stourbridge Junction to the Town station was quick, quiet and surprisingly comfortable. The interior is arranged to maximise standing space, rather like an underground train - but could easily accommodate a wheelchair too. The ride was a little lively, but how much of that was down to the condition of the ageing branchline is hard to say. The single unit seemed to cope well enough with the intensive service and quick turnarounds too.

For short journeys on self-contained branches like this, I can see a future for this kind of low-cost, low-carbon convenient travel. But there's no hiding the fact it's a strange looking beast indeed!

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I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.

I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.

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