Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Here we go ... AGAIN .... - 1329/3745
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 5th February 2007

Letter to Customer Services

Dear Sir,

The 06:19 Swindon to Westbury (06:44 from Melksham) is cancelled yet again this morning.

I was assured by Andrew Griffiths that the service should be running reliably from the end of January, and I also read Alison Forster's press adverts that services would be running reliably from an earlier date.  On a line where your run such an infrequent service, waiting for the next train (at 19:08 from Melksham) is not a viable option.

I understand that most recent cancellations have been caused by a shortage of crews and a shortage of trains - something of a surprise after the vicious service reductions you made in December which I would have expected to leave you with an adequate pool of available trains and train crew.

1. Can you tell me from what date we might reasonably expect to have a 98% plus service running on the "TransWilts" line? 

2. Can you confirm that your cancellation policy biases you towards cancelling "TransWilts" services, rather than towards other more frequent services where you customer would suffer only a delay?

3. I wrote to you on 17th January and again on 31st January concerning a ticketing error where my wife and I were each charged 41 pounds for single tickets rather than 42 for returns (Chippenham to London for an evening) and had to pay out again to get home.  I am surprised that this apparently common issue (according to the train staff) is taking so long to answer.  Can you please tell me when this might be resolved.

Many Thanks,

Graham Ellis

Re: Here we go ... AGAIN .... - 1329/3751
Written by Sion Bretton on Monday, 5th February 2007

Yes I was there waiting for the train.
Cancelled due to staff sickness (info point advised)

I had a taxi but had to ring a passagener at Chippenham Station to advise I was waiting for train.
Taxi arrived at 6.50 to go to Trowbridge.

Seems bad we have to ring the public to get us a taxi.  ;D

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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