Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Minimum aspirations, Key flows - 1027/2857
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 10th January 2007

What do you think of these?

1. A service arriving in Swindon at around 08:30 and a service leaving at 17:30 for commuter traffic.

2. A Service arriving in Melksham at around 09:00 (and a few minutes later in Trowbridge) and returning at around 17:00 made it practical to commute from Swindon to both of these towns, and to travel to them from London / return afterwards and get in a whole day's work

4. A service in each direction in the middle of the day which provided half day work / leisure opportunities and long distance connection options.

5. A really early train each way, to give West Wilts passengers the ability to get to London for a full day's work by train, and also to Salisbury and beyond.

6. A through service between Chippenham and Salisbury, Swindon and Southampton.

7. A direct daytime train service between the county town (Trowbridge) and the largest town in the county (Swindon)

8. A Saturday train in the later afternoon from Swindon, suitable for shoppers and soccer fans (part of 1, 2, 3 and 7 which should include Saturday)

9. A Sunday / Bank Holiday daytime service both ways.

10.  A  service without change opf vehicle that does NOT exceed 30 minutes in travelling from Swindon to Melksham, 45 minutes from Swindon to Trowbridge, and 50 minutes from Swindon to Westbury, and runs within 15 minutes of its timetabled schedule more than 96% of the time.

Two interesting facts about these aspirations:

a) They could be met by a single train operating a two hourly round trip

b) They were being met by the previous operator - there's nothing new here

And I also note that Alison at First wrote to one of our posters the other day stating that they were looking to meet the needs of their customers, but on fewer resources.  Which looks to me like a promise to meet the flows above ...

Re: Minimum aspirations, Key flows - 1027/2907
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 11th January 2007

Here's a note from First Director level - above FGW - received yesterday.  It's more interetsing in what it leaves out than what it includes. At HQ level, First refused to be drawn into offering any hope of a train service which will meet the key flows they took over last April.

[quote]We are absolutely committed to improving reliability and will make vigorous efforts to getting better as soon as possible

The timetable is now determined. We will keep it constantly under review.

----- Original Message -----
From: Graham Ellis []
Sent: 10/01/2007 05:06
Subject: Re: "TransWilts" train service - current relaibility, timing and service level

Thank you for that re-assurance, Mr Finch. Can I take it that means
that you're committed at the First  group HQ to providing, as a
minimum, a service that meets the key travel needs of your 2006
customers on the TransWilts - the key items (1) to (9) I have listed -
at a reliability levels set down in association with the DfT and
others, and that you'll be fully supportive of the FGW board as they
make improvements along  the lines I've outlined in (a) to (e)?

Graham Ellis
Well House Consultants, 404 The Spa, Melksham, Wilts
+44 (0) 1225 708225 (phone)  +44 (0) 1225 707126 (fax)[/quote]

Re: Minimum aspirations, Key flows - 1027/2996
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 13th January 2007

Two more runied flows:


link to index of articles

Save the Train was the campaign to bring an approriate train service back to and through Melksham.

Most big contributors are still around writing at the Coffee shop forum where new members are very welcome.

The train has been saved - sort of - we have stepped back up from an unusable service to a poorish one but it's doing very well. We did that through setting up the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. That fulfilled its early objectives; it has been taken over by local and regional government types who are now doing medium and long term work. The team from this forun can also be found at the Melksham Rail User Group (which was the Melksham Rail Development Group at the time these articles were written and we had no users.

We mustn't loose sight, though, that the train service remains poor and needs our community support in marketing and campaigning to keep it going in a positive direction ... and all the more so when we're expecting to find a different normallity once we get out of the Coronavirus Pandemic and head for zero carbon via the climate crisis. Yes, it's saved ... it's now a key community facility ... the need for enhancement and the strong and near-universal local support remain, and the rail industry and goverment remain slow to move and provide the enhancements even to level us up with other towns. Please support the Melksham Rail User Group - now very much in partnership rather than protest with the rail industry and local government, including GWR, TransWilts and unitary and town councils. And please use the trains and buses, and cycle and walk when you can.

-- Graham Ellis, (webmaster), February 2021

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