THE Stourbridge Shuttle is back in action after major works on the famous Stourbridge branch line - the first upgrade of the track since 1902.

Over the past two months, the branch line - the shortest in the UK (possibly in Europe) - has been undergoing major modernisation works.

With new railway track, new sleepers and new ballast, the entire route between Stourbridge Town and Stourbridge Junction railway stations has been significantly upgraded to ensure train services can run effectively, frequently, and smoothly.

Overseen by Network Rail, the works mark the first total renewal of the track, which is just over three quarters of a mile long, in around 120 years.

The whole process was captured and recorded on camera by the Inside Out Group who worked in partnership with Pre Metro to produce a time lapse video of the historic development.

Geoff Lusher, chairman of Pre Metro, said: “We are thrilled about the fantastic upgrades that have taken place recently.

"These improvements mean our valued customers can feel safe and comfortable on their essential journeys and beyond."

Neil Elkes, West Midlands Railway executive, said: “The improvements to the Stourbridge branch show what the rail industry can achieve when it works together. In the space of just a few weeks, the tracks and trains have been given a new lease of life, and the disruption to customers kept to a minimum.

"If the industry can make this way of working the norm, it will be fantastic news for customers.”

Passengers can now enjoy a smoother ride on the Stourbridge Shuttle - the UK’s only currently operating Very Light Rail (VLR) system.

Operated by Pre Metro, on behalf of West Midlands Railway, the service uses two Class 139 railcars that are currently found nowhere else in the world.