Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
The FOSBR Case In Full - 1042/2917
Written by Lee on Thursday, 11th January 2007

I have been asked to post this by the FOSBR folks , and am happy to oblige.

*10 reasons to invest in an extra train:*

1) It will cut congestion, which currently costs the Bristol economy

Re: The FOSBR Case In Full - 1042/2919
Written by Graz on Thursday, 11th January 2007

I don't think one extra train would provide as much as half-hourly services, as the turnaround times would be far too short, and having a timetable which is too 'tight' and doesn't allow for slight delays, as explained in another thread can cause problems. But it would be good in other ways like alleviating the current short turnaround time at Bristol TM which can - and does - mount up delays.

I think before FOSBR leap into the proposal too much (I'm not critisizing them in any way, they do fantastic work for this line) more should be done about promotion. As I said in the Clifton down thread, Bristol Zoo isn't advertised as a place to get to by train but it very clearly is. Buses are promoted everywhere, but trains aren't. A promotional effort first - along with trains that don't repeatedly get cancelled as what's happened recently on this line - will make the campaign a lot stronger.

Re: The FOSBR Case In Full - 1042/2920
Written by Lee on Thursday, 11th January 2007

I think to be fair , a mix of service options as described above is a good thing , along with the active lobbying that is currently taking place. I do agree with you on the promotion front though. Interestingly , the JSPTU "Rail Vision" pushes this as well (link below.)

"The strategy is to promote an increase in rail use in offpeak periods that will increase train utilisation sufficiently to effect a steady reduction in external financial support. Because the stimulus of regular traffic congestion will not be here to move travellers from cars, the Councils will need to co-operate with train operators and community groups to build and market an attractive service."

And so they should , in my view.

Re: The FOSBR Case In Full - 1042/2926
Written by Graz on Thursday, 11th January 2007

I've had a read of the Rail Vision strategy (thanks Lee) and while I completely agree with every single detail and point in it, it disappoints me that I don't think most, if any, of the reccomendations have or will happen. Especially seeing that services were recently cut back, and the report was published in 2000 when services were better, Wessex were in charge...and politicians were more likely to listen!

Re: The FOSBR Case In Full - 1042/2977
Written by Lee on Saturday, 13th January 2007

Rail protesters demonstrated outside Bristol's Council House and called on the city council's ruling cabinet to ensure a half-hourly train service to Severn Beach is reinstated (link below.)

More than 50 people filled a crowded cabinet chamber last night as the campaigners protested against last year's withdrawal of a subsidy for the service , which left commuters with a less convenient hourly service.

Members of the Friends Of Suburban Bristol Railways were joined by representatives of campaign group Transport 2000 in calling for more regular trains.

They said the city council should work with other councils in the former Avon area as well as rail operator First Great Western to invest in the suburban services.

Rail user Bernard Lane , from Dursley Road , Shirehampton , lives in a home overlooking the railway station and is a frequent service user.

He said: "We would like to use it more but because of large gaps between train times we find we are often unable to.

"The promotion of the line would yield positive results and working together with the local community would make the service more attractive."

Re: The FOSBR Case In Full - 1042/3135
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 17th January 2007

Bristol's ruling councillors have been accused of hypocrisy over their stance on the row about the city's suburban railways. Labour party members blamed the city council's decision to withdraw a subsidy for the Severn Beach railway line as starting the rot which threatens to damage the route's existence.

Group leader Helen Holland said the Lib Dem cabinet should be doing more to enhance the service and promote rail use.

Dennis Brown , executive member in charge of transport , said the service was out of the council's hands and was the responsibility of First Great Western. He was due to meet representatives of the transport giant yesterday (16/01/2007) to discuss the future of the suburban lines.

Re: The FOSBR Case In Full - 1042/3207
Written by Lee on Thursday, 18th January 2007

Here is the Half Hour Train Campaign briefing for Bristol City Council and First Great Western (link below.)

There are some very interesting comments from Andrew Griffiths , especially on running trains all the way to Severn Beach , and Clifton Down signalling alterations.

Re: The FOSBR Case In Full - 1042/4277
Written by Lee on Monday, 12th March 2007

I note that the cost (or rather the "funding gap") of the extra 1 - coach Severn Beach line train is estimated at around

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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