Save the Melksham Train
This is an archived page.
Please see [here] if you're looking for the current "Save the Train" home page.
Please see [here] for the TransWilts site.
Friday, 26th March 2010. Launch of TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. Bridge House, Trowbridge, from 19:30
An exciting new step forward to rejeuvenation of the line, its service and its use
BUSY, EXCELLENT MEETING ... see [here] for initial report
Train service remains dire - southbound from Swindon at 06:15 and 18:45, northbound from Westbury at 07:02 and 19:35. Please pledge your support if you would like to see an increase to six trains a day -
arriving Swindon at 07:48 08:53 11:50 14:50 17:36 and 20:19,
returning at 06:18 09:02 12:02 15:02 17:55 and 18:45.

Keynote for 2010

Forum archive ... Blog archive

Melksham's railway past

Old pictures - page 1 and Old pictures - page 2

Melksham's railway opened early - after Brunel built the London to Bristol line for the Great Western Railway, one of the first branches was from Thingley Junction just to the West of Chippenham through Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Yeovil and Dorchester to Weymouth. The line was double tracked, and built to Brunel's broad gauge of 7'0.25" (narrowed to the current 4'8.5" around 1890).

Competitive services to Weymouth (via Bournemouth) and the nationalisation of the railways lead to a reduction of the through trains to Weymouth, and the station at Melksham was closed as part of the Beeching cuts in 1966. The line, by now single, remained open as a useful diversion route, and was still served by a single (nonstop) train on Summer Saturdays ... running from the Midlands through to Weymouth for holiday makers.

In the 1985, the station re-opened to provide a limited commuter service to Swindon in the morning, and that service returned in the evening. As from 2001, the service was increased to up to five trains each way daily (see newspaper article) and although traffic has been slow to build up, the trains are now getting busier.

Looking to the future, I would expect to see traffic building up further. Westinghouse - a railway signalling company - has just moved hundred of staff to the town. The station approaches and signposting have been improved. A new residential development is replacing an eyesore of a derelict factory beside the station and Melksham is growing in other parts too. And petrol prices are currently over 90p per litre which send some of us (at least) looking to get around in a more cost effective and more environmentally friendly manner. Which makes it all the more perverse that the companies bidding to run the rail service through Melksham from next year have been asked to quote for a reduced service! Please visit the support link to offer us your support in retaining the service, and the bidders link to find out who the bidders are and where you can write to them with your views.

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