Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Where was the 7.17 this AM - 1168/3340
Written by Sion Bretton on Tuesday, 23rd January 2007

I arrived at 7.10 to get 7.17
Info point advise no trains for next 90 minutes
7.15 a train went through non stop towards Chippenham.
So off I drove to Bradford on Avon

Re: Where was the 7.17 this AM - 1168/3341
Written by Graz on Tuesday, 23rd January 2007

According to the Live Departure Boards, the 7:17 was cancelled from Westbury to Swindon. Was it a passenger train that passed, Sion? If so, was there anyone on it? If's not acceptable as it is, but that would be inexcusable for it not to stop, and a new low for WLW.
From FGW's website:
[Quote]07:00 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa due 09:01
This train will be started from Swindon. It will no longer call at: Westbury, Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham. This is due to shortage of traincrew due sickness. No further information is available at this time.[/Quote]
Whoever wrote that sounds sick!

Re: Where was the 7.17 this AM - 1168/3342
Written by Sion Bretton on Tuesday, 23rd January 2007

The train was in Darkness ie the lights off .

Re: Where was the 7.17 this AM - 1168/3364
Written by Ruthg on Tuesday, 23rd January 2007

A coach was laid on from Westbury but I didn't get it, it's just not worth my time and effort. As it was I ended up being 30 minutes late for work because the 06.52 from Frome was cancelled so they merged it with the 06.47 from Frome (I've not experienced that one before).
Then to top off this annoying start to the day, the HST from Bath to Swindon was packed, not quite passengers standing in the toilet but not far off! >:( 

Re: Where was the 7.17 this AM - 1168/3373
Written by Steve35 on Tuesday, 23rd January 2007

No conductor available at Westbury due to sickness so the train had to run empty to Swindon where a conductor was available, allowing it to run as a passenger train from there to Cheltenham.
Trains that carry passengers need a conductor*. That's what the Rule Book says. Plus, had the train stopped to pick up passengers south of Swindon you can guarantee there'd have been a major row with the unions.

* unless running under DOO conditions (Driver Only Operation) - this is where the driver controls the opening and closing of the doors rather than the conductor (who just deals with selling tickets). But you need TV monitors at the end of the platforms that show the driver a picture of the train so he doesn't try to close the doors when passengers are still getting on/off. And you need union agreement too. So DOO isn't something you can just do on the spur of the moment for a particular train. It has to be for a whole line with union agreement. 

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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