Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
The story so far - a summary - 13/13
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 22nd September 2005

Bidders for the new Greater Western railway franchise which covers London to the South West, London to Bristol, London to South Wales, all local and most crosscountry services in the area have been asked to submit bids based on a drastically reduced service level for some lines.

In particular, the Swindon to Southampton service has been slated for complete withdrawal, removing all direct trains between Salisbury and Swindon and reducing the direct service from the county town of Trowbridge to Swindon to just 2 trains a day.  It also slashes train services to Melksham by 68%.  The changes would take place in December 2006.

Train use at Melksham increased by 35% in the year to April 2005, with some 27435 ticket sales for rail journeys to or from the town.

A group of people is working in Melksham to campaign for a drastic improvement in the proposed level of service from December 2006 - not necessarily in line with the existing service, but rather  to provide a service that meets the travel needs of the West Wilts Corridor.

The inaugural meeting took place on 20th September, with some 25 people in attendance. This  group will be working to survey requirements, to suggest practical options, and to lobby for the most appropriate option to be implemented.  We will also be working with the current operator to help improve passenger numbers and visibility of the line further.  The group has widespread support from interested parties such as local government, user groups, train operating companies and elected representatives.

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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