Save the Melksham Train
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Save Severn Tunnel Junction Timetable Proposals - 1119/3206
Written by Lee on Thursday, 18th January 2007

From the Save Severn Tunnel Website (link below.) :

The proposed enhancements to the timetable involve the provision throughout the day of the alternate services (Portsmouth) that at present pass through Severn Tunnel Junction station without stopping. This gives a half-hourly service pattern that enables connections into the half-hourly main line services at both Newport and Bristol.

In addition it creates connections to and from the Chepstow line rail services which the existing Bristol Newport service fails to make any connections into (apart from the peak times where there is already the half-hourly Bristol - Newport service).

The proposal provides two additional late evening services from Bristol giving a last service an hour and a half-later departing Bristol at 22.54. All of the enhancements are based on no additional trains operating but simply additional station stops on the existing services.

A further advantage of this proposal is that it maximises the Bus / Rail integration at Severn Tunnel Junction.

Monmouthshire County Council have supported and implemented a local Bus Service to supplement the commercial Busses that operate in East Monmouthshire. This is used to give access to the shopping area and also to specifically provide integration with the railway at Severn Tunnel Junction. It is the only bus service that actually calls at the station; all the commercial services operate along the main road some 8 -10 minutes walk away. This Bus operates to and from Sudbrook (through Portskewett and Caldicot) and then to Undy / Magor with some of the return journeys also going via Caerwent.

An analysis of the existing timetables shows that if all the Cardiff - Bristol services called at the station, only the 16.44 from Newport would not make an additional connection from either the Integrated Bus service or the Rail service off the Gloucester line. A total of 13 additional connections are made into the Bristol services effectively more than doubling the connectivity of the service.

In the reverse direction the Bristol - Cardiff service would provide an additional 20 connections into the Gloucester Line rail service or the Station bus service to Magor and Caldicot / Portskewett / Sudbrook. The 07.54, 10.55, 18.54 and 21.54 from Bristol would be the only services not actually providing additional connections.

The tables below give the analysis of the timetables with the highlight in yellow showing services that would in future connect into or from the Bristol services. The highlight in red shows the additional stops at the Junction into which or from which the actual connections are made. The highlight in green identifies the additional stops that do not have an added public service connections and only provide a service to the locality, or would require car / taxi connection at the station.

*Please click on to access document

Without the need for any additional train or bus services the proposal represents a major step forward in providing integrated public transport in the area.

STAG. Central Trains to Stop at Chepstow

The issue was also given an airing yesterday (17/1) in WAG

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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