Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Last Night (15 mar) - 1642/4334
Written by Dawn on Friday, 16th March 2007

Well, I wasn't impressed.  Despite all the promises re better conectivity come GWR taking over the Wessex franchise... The 17:30 from Paddington (the advertised conection for the 18:58 Chippenham to Melksham) was delayed.  Instead of holding the Westbury train at Swindon to allow the Bristol train through they let the Westbury train out just in front of the Bristol train thus ensuring that the Bristol train was further delayed following the slower Westbury train and those of us wanting to connect to the Westbury train missed it.  The logic astonds me....

Re: Last Night (15 mar) - 1642/4346
Written by courgettelawn on Saturday, 17th March 2007

There is no logic in terms of passengers, the logic will have been that it made life easier for the train operators to do this for their own convenience.  When I have been in similar situations, however, the gross lack of communication was what amazed me more than anything.  In an age when instant communication is meant to be taken as a given, especially when it comes to transport, I can't imagine how they function at all.  Often platform staff will know little more than you will as a passenger.  Orders to hold trains at stations will not be made or not received.

Do let us know how they respond to your complaint about the incident.

Re: Last Night (15 mar) - 1642/4350
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 17th March 2007

There has been a history, especially at Swindon, with a lack of information and sensible platform decisions about the Trowbridge, Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton service.

Re: Last Night (15 mar) - 1642/4396
Written by Dawn on Tuesday, 20th March 2007

I had a standard reply saying that (to cut a long email short) for safety and efficiency reasons it is not their policy to hold trains unless it is an infrequent service or the last service of the day etc.  I've written back stating that putting the Swindon-Westbury service on Platform 2 at Swindon does not create an efficiency or safety issue, that letting it out in front of the delayed 17:30 Paddington - Weston Super Mare service delays the Western Super Mare service further and that the Swindon - Westbury service is both very infrequent and the last of the day.  I'm still waiting for a reply! 

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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