Midlands Enterprise Awards 2022

44 | Midlands Enterprise Awards 2022 of the vehicle). This means both must assume responsibilities of safety-critical driving and train guard/customer service as they alternate these tasks when the railcar travels bidirectionally on the branch line. As such, its recruitment policy priorities new employees being capable of safety-critical operations, responsible, and able to remain focused. Being a small enterprise with under 30 staff, it hires many local people who are already familiar with its operation and understand the responsibility of being a community-focused and more interpersonal operation than most railway services. The company differentiates itself by being the UK’s only Very Light Rail operator – a new term meaning greener, lightweight, and more affordable railway/tram services. As both an organisation and a practice, its next focus is to ensure new routes use and support this technology. Currently, the two Class 139 ‘Shuttle’ vehicles it uses are one-of-a-kind (the only two found on railways today) and remain the first working examples of Very Light Rail on the railway network. This is why Pre Metro has been hired by both the Revolution VLR team and the Coventry VLR team to assess and support the latest vehicle developments, test-drive new railcars, and accumulate the necessary mileage. Pre Metro’s priorities are focused on service provision and industry innovations. Its core values revolve around remaining a communitydriven provider of public transport. VLR supports the growth of the local economy, improves environmental sustainability, and encourages community engagement. The future looks exceptionally bright for Pre Metro and the Very Light Rail industry. Pre Metro The Midlands pursues many tram and railway projects to improve local accessibility and connect passengers as quickly and efficiently as possible. This involves contracting and partnering with local organisations for the express purpose of innovating and maintaining the lines. One such operator is Pre Metro Operations Ltd, a team dedicated to providing reliable services through the utilisation of innovative and eco-friendly vehicles on disused branch lines. Award-winning Train Operating Company (TOC) Pre Metro was founded in 1999 with the mission to redevelop disused branch lines, reconnect communities that lack railway connectivity, and push toward more sustainable public transport opportunities with better environmental and sociological benefits. With this in mind, it utilised light rail technology to reconnect the Stourbridge branch line in 2009, following a three-year trial period. Over the past decade, it has become the most reliable TOC in the UK (averaging 99.6% service reliability per annum) and has transported over 6.5 million passengers onboard its Stourbridge Shuttle service. Most of its staff are train drivers, and its operation requires two (with a driver’s cab on both sides Regional Light Rail Service Provider of the Year 2022 Jul22198 is currently working with local MPs to establish a new route, ‘the Stourbridge Dasher,’ between Stourbridge and Brierley Hill, utilising an existing freight line and connecting Stourbridge with the new West Midlands Metro extension. It has also received a lot of local support and is pursuing funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority. As for the rest of 2022, it expects to maintain its service’s reliability, host some community events at Stourbridge Junction and accumulate the mileage of new VLR vehicles. Our Regional Light Rail Service Provider of the Year is determined to continue its excellent service provision and establish more VLR routes across that country and has already made vast strides to achieve this aim.