Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Train on time leads to a one hour delay ... - 1218/3499
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Friday, 26th January 2007

How can a train that ran on time lead to a major delay to the traveller?

Trains are said to be on time if they arrive at their final destination within 5 (?) minutes of schedule. So if the 06:44 from Melksham gets to Westbury at 07:12 when it was due at 07:07, it's on time.  It takes five minues from Trowbridge so needs to leave there by 07:07 to be "on time".

Funny thing - the timetable says 06:54 at Trowbridge ... good time to catch the 07:03 to Cardiff.  Fail to connect and the next "Cardiff" is an hour later.

SO the train from Melksham is officially ON TIME (which it can achieve by being 13 minutes behind what the timetable says at Trowbridge) and it delays passengers who have a GOOD connection into another ON TIME train by one hour.

What an odd way to run a railway. No wonder they can say they're "on target" while inconveniencing the public.

Re: Train on time leads to a one hour delay ... - 1218/3522
Written by streety7 on Friday, 26th January 2007

Graham, a train is said to be 'on time' within 10 minutes of reaching its final destination, or so I know, unless they've changed it...

Re: Train on time leads to a one hour delay ... - 1218/3525
Written by gaf71 on Saturday, 27th January 2007

just a note to add to this.....i work for your favourite TOC, and we are asked to report delays of 3 minutes or more. Apparently this is when the fines start to kick in, so the delay has to be attributed correctly...i.e. train fault/ failure, traincrew issue, network rail infrastructure etc. so the fines are paid by the "right" company.

Re: Train on time leads to a one hour delay ... - 1218/3534
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 27th January 2007

Thanks, gaf71 .... and thanks Chris for those clarifications.  I understood in the past that the delays are measured at final destination, aren't they?  So that the 13 minutes the  06:19 from Swindon is allowed between Trowbridge and Westbury which in reallity should be done in 6 minutes allows for 7 + 3 = 10 late at Trowbridge without any reported lateness. 

Sorry to harp on about this ... it's just a convenient way to be on time with good connection allowances, yet cause folks disruption. I've heard similar being discussed (I think) for the teminating of all cross-country trains at Birmingham to get better stats for performance, but at the expense of the traveller's delay to a subsequent service. Or perhaps I have the wrong end of that stick - I'm not from Birmingham after all  ;D

Re: Train on time leads to a one hour delay ... - 1218/3566
Written by aik4on on Monday, 29th January 2007

It's nine minutes for an HSS (high speed service) and four minutes for LTV (London and Thames Valley) and West (former Wessex) services.

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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