Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Newmarket station - 1589/4236
Written by philmcm on Friday, 9th March 2007

Not sure if anyone here is familiar with Newmarket station, but I had reason to visit it this week and immediately spotted some interesting parallels with Melksham.

To begin with, it's been reduced to a single line from what were obviously, to anyone with half an eye for industrial architecture, former glories. The station building has been converted into industrial units, much as what's left of Melksham's has, and next to it on what was obviously once a goods yard there's a new housing development. The remaining, single half a platform sports an ugly, post-modern "bus shelter" and little else.

What they do have and what we OUGHT to have though is both a regular train service in each direction, and an electronic indicator telling people what times the trains run (hourly, pretty much).

What caught my eye particularly was who paid for it to be installed and maintained....

Re: Newmarket station - 1589/4242
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 10th March 2007

Indeed - a good example of co-operation between the local authorities, the operators, other parties.

There are examples in our area:

and there's certainly some county council involvement in the Heart of Wessex line (I'm not sure whether that's financial - capital projects / running costs of just manageial).  The Swindon to Salisbury service, though, is part of the Local Transport plan but - in the recent past - has received council officer support (and I have to take my hat off to certain of them for the time they have put in) without, it seems much backing from the elected WCC representative who should be throwing her weight behind integrated travel, and information systems using rail and road.

The current biggest hole?  Integrates transport needs some services which use each of the elements to be integrated at a time they're required.

Phil - did any trains arrive / depart while you were at Newmarket?  Were they busy? Many people on or off?

Re: Newmarket station - 1589/4305
Written by philmcm on Tuesday, 13th March 2007

Yeah, I used the train quite a few times while I was there last week to travel to and from Cambridge, and there was usually 5 or 6 people alighting with me each time at Newmarket station.

I'm under no illusions though: it's the hundreds if not thousands of punters using the service on race days that no doubt make the trains financially viable the rest of the year round.

Re: Newmarket station - 1589/4327
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 15th March 2007

For sure, it wouldn't be viable as as the end point of a service .... but isn't there a far higher traffic on the same train from Cambridge through to Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich?

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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