Save the Melksham Train
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Bad day for trains from Melksham ... - 147/348
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Friday, 10th February 2006

Friday, 10th February 2006 ...

Further records

Re: Bad day for trains from Melksham ... - 147/349
Written by Nick Field on Friday, 10th February 2006

:o :o

Anybody know why?

Re: Bad day for trains from Melksham ... - 147/350
Written by Sion Bretton on Friday, 10th February 2006

6.56 to Southampton ran 4 mintues and they were doing a survey on the train

Re: Bad day for trains from Melksham ... - 147/353
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 11th February 2006

Trains ran better in the evening.  Six out of 10 trains ran during the day, 3 were cancelled, and the 09:12 started at Westbury rather than Swindon which is also cancelled as far as I'm concerned from a Melksham perspective.

I don't know what happened, but where the train leaves out the Westbury - Swindon - Westbury part of the journey and then picks up the onward leg to Southampton, it's often been caused in the past by a shortage of train crews.  But yesterday there were also emergency engineering works at Kemble on th Swindon to Gloucester line, and it might just be that there was some sort of platforming issue at Swindon.

The surveys are organised by Wilts County Council - specific to the "TransWilts" line to help in understanding current use up and down the West Wilts corridor and on to Swindon.  Although we have on train counts, stations observations and ticket sales data already, one of the things that we've lacked has been journey details. They're a vital piece of the jigsaw in terms of what SHOULD be being provided for, and so far it's been missing.  Alas, after yesterday's fiasco I don't think the data provided for 10th Feb will be representative.

Re: Bad day for trains from Melksham ... - 147/366
Written by Trowres on Tuesday, 14th February 2006

Tuesday 14th seemed to be a bad day for Wessex Trains generally, with many short-formed services. The Frome-Swindon was cancelled again. However, in a rather unexpected twist of the usual priorities, the lunchtime Bristol-Brighton was formed of a single 153 instead of the usual 2-car 158. It was terminated at Westbury (although the computerised announcement claimed Fareham) and formed the 13:20 to Swindon, running a few minutes late. A couple of prospective passengers at Trowbridge became rather anxious when the Swindon disappeared from the depature display before the train had arrived - and the ticket office was closed again due to lack of staff , so there was nobody to ask.

Re: Bad day for trains from Melksham ... - 147/367
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 15th February 2006

Looking at our train monitor, the end of last week and start of this don't seem to have been particularly reliable - running being well below the 99% type figures routinely claimed.  Is it the weather, some saftey checks, an "end of term" feeling or staff leaving because they don't fancy the change of employer and not being replaced?  I feel for prospective passengers on the more frequent services "pulled" but I'm relieved that at least one of our infrequent trains appears to have been chosen above another for retention.

I feel that delays / cancellations should be evaluated based on time lost factors - i.e. passengers delayed or cancelled multiplied by the time to the next service.  Perhaps someone else feels this is right too?

Slight topic changeIn the from-December timetable, Swindon to Westbury services and operated from the Swindon end with a 20 minute turn around at Westbury. It appears that the skeleton service that will remain will be operated by Gloucester based crews so we'll see a change of staffing.  The First web site assures ex-Wessex trains staff that they'll meet all the legal requirements on them (First) as they take over the staff; I'm not an expert in that area and don't really know how much that commits them to.

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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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