Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Best of luck - 103/219
Written by Graz on Tuesday, 3rd January 2006

Although not a traveller via Melksham, I'd like to wish you the best of luck in saving this truly vital service for residents of Wiltshire and beyond. I travel from Oldfield Park (Bath) - Cheltenham Spa and sometimes down to Trowbridge, and although journeys to Cheltenham are generally fine, I have written to the RPC about the axing of the vital Bristol Temple Meads - London Waterloo service because services south of Bristol are always so crowded. Looking at the statistics of rising rail travel around Melksham (and the Westcountry in general), it's a wonder that First or the DFT haven't said or done anything about it by now.

I will pay a visit to Melksham in the summer (By train, of course!) and keep checking the site for updates, so in the meantime I hope First listen to the concerns and do something about it.

Re: Best of luck - 103/222
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 4th January 2006

Many thanks for your wishes.  The Wessex Trains routes south through Westbury have been suffering a lack of resources - it seems that there's been too much traffic, too few coaches and too few train crews for the growing traffic ... so that service justification is NOT based on what makes economic sense, but on what they've managed to provide.

With an appropriate number of trains and crews, a much more reliable service could be provided and - as far as I can see from information avaialble - it would be profitable too, and traffic would continue to grow.  But investment has been sadly lacking - after all, why SHOULD the previous operator have invested for the long term when they only had a quite short term contract to operate the line(s)?

On "The Waterloo" ... wouldn't it be an excellent solution if the Bristol to Portmouth train was reliable and not overcrowded and connected well every hour at Salisbury?  At present, you've got two trains running from Bristol to Salisbury within a few minutes of each other.  My only fear of using a connection rather than a through train is that it stifles any competition ....

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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