Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Saturday 17th March - 2 HST's "vandalised" at Swansea? - 1659/4368
Written by Steve Bray on Sunday, 18th March 2007

I was having a moan at the FGW staff at Reading yesterday, and one member said that overnight at Swansea, 2 HST's had been vandalised at Swansea. Therefore, Adelante's were substituting for HST's and Turbo's for Adelante's. More services than not operating on the Cotswold Line yesterday (including the 0952 Paddington to Hereford), were being operated by Turbos.

I had been chatting to them about the mis-information that gets displayed on the monitors. The 2 examples yesterday, during a 30 minute connection were concerning the 0922 Paddington/Oxford which had the comment "Regret - 3 carriages only today", yet when it turned up, it was just a 2 car unit, and then secondly,an announcement that a Swansea bound train was reported as "full and standing" from Paddington (due to the rugby). To their credit, the Reading staff had acted on this, and in good faith had told potential passengers to travel via Bristol Temple Meads (There were plenty of seats available on a preceding service to Temple Meads). Yet when the Swansea train came in, there was little evidence of anyone standing (maybe there were a few in the areas between corridors) and in fact not every seat was full. Even the platform staff seemed a bit frustrated about the exaggeration of passengers on this service.

In addition to my short connection, I noted that the 1034 from Reading to Gatwick Airport had been cancelled. I've noticed a few cancellations to Gatwick Airport have crept in, in recent weeks. In the days of Thames Trains, this used to be a very reliable service. In fairness to FGW, the December timetable did increase the frequency of service from Reading to Redhill.

That's all!

Re: Saturday 17th March - 2 HST's "vandalised" at Swansea? - 1659/4398
Written by Steve Bray on Tuesday, 20th March 2007

Further to my comment about a number of cancellations creeping in on the Reading/Gatwick route, there have been 2 more examples in recent days.

Yesterday the 1726 from Gatwick to Reading was terminated at Redhill (the first "station stop",about 7 minutes into the journey).

Today, the 1834 Reading to Gatwick and 2003 return working have been cancelled

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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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