Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Email received from Lesley Coleman - 127/299
Written by Nick Field on Tuesday, 24th January 2006

Today I received an email resposnse from Lesley Coleman regarding my letter I sent to her, it looks like the decision for whatever service level we will get lies with the DfT, copied and pasted as below:

Dear Mr. Field,

Firstly, may I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time and effort to express your interest and concerns regarding the future of the Swindon - Salisbury services via Melksham. I have received your letter in the post today and am impressed by the level of detail and evidence that you provide to support the retention of these services.

I must explain the situation that we find ourselves in regarding the level and timetabling of these services. As you are well aware the original Greater Western Franchise Invitation to Tender and base specification made customers aware to the fact that there was a proposal to reduce the services from the current five to two. We were also asked by the DfT though to provide an alternative bid, once that was more enhanced, which would include running the services at the current level. Unfortunately the DfT chose not to buy this option as it would mean funding for additional rolling stock. It must be stressed that ultimately we have been asked to deliver a train service level specified by DfT.

I have recently received numerous letters and e-mails of concern from customers who use the current services and who express their own individual reasons for these services not to be reduced. Even though I am not the person responsible for the planning of the timetable I can reassure you that your feedback had been forwarded to our Operations Business Planning Manager and I will continue to do so. I note that these have also be sent to the DfT which can only help to influence the final decision as to the level of services serving this route.

Kind regards,


Lesley Colman
Customer Liaison Manager
Internal :

Re: Email received from Lesley Coleman - 127/301
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 24th January 2006

Thanks for posting that, Nick.

I've just got home from Southend.  A long drive - I had to go by road because I was carrying a dozen computers each way - whcih is a classic illustration of how saturated the road network is.  I try to avoid the orbital car park when I can.  Anyhow - in my email I have a similar email.  I won't say "identical" but not far off.

More comment in the morning. ... except ....  I'm tempted to say "Oy - I allowed for funding of the stock in my cost case".  That being the case, it rather implies this is a political decision rather than a business one.

Re: Email received from Lesley Coleman - 127/309
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 29th January 2006

Word processors and computer systems are marvellous - quite a number of similar letters floating around  ;)

I've dropped Lesley a reply, thanking her for passing on the information to the appropriate people, and asking her to let me know who the decision makers are at both First and the DfT so that we can ensure that they have the full views of their customers to hand as they take decisions.    I'll follow up here with any answers and as and when relevant post elsewhere too.

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

This site is hosted by Well House Consultants Ltd. (
Contact Information

Further Information:
 Current Summary
 Daily update
 User forum
 Service now
 Service future
 Future Analysis
 Recent Statistics
 Recent letters
 Letter to DfT
 Save the train
 Support us
 Other Maps
 Station facilities
 Station approach
 Trains diverted
 About Melksham
 Site Map
 About this site