Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Continuing unreliability, Fri 16th. - 1673/4386
Written by tramway on Monday, 19th March 2007

I'll come to Friday evenings BTM chaos in a moment, but this is interesting from the FGW website when looking for train delays at 1345 today.

The route filter has been disabled due to the high demand for this service. The normal service will resume once demand has reduced sufficiently.

This is not the first time that delay information on the web has 'gone down due to excessive demand'. It would be interesting if there were hit statistics from either FGW or NexusAlpha (data suppliers) on their 'live delay' and 'live departure' boards traffic pre and post Dec 10.

Filton departures has been down more than once due to excessive traffic, and the demand due to continued unreliability is unrelenting.

Which brings me on to last Friday.

Big sigh of relief at seeing a Friday 1722 BTM - Portsmouth consisting of 2 x 158s, this soon evaporated as the TPE element of the stock had 1 coach with total electrical failure. Never mind, 3 coaches could just about accommodate the Friday passenger (sorry customer) load full and standing, and to give the local announcement team their due all Bath Spa passengers were informed of the HST service which relieved the load a tad.

20 crushed min later it was decided that the stock was going nowhere and we all detrained. I decided to drown my sorrows in the bar, only to see that the stock had been split and those poor souls remaining depart on the ex Wessex stock, oh well the 1822 will be along soon.

Was it hell, earlier 'technical' problems had taken at least 2 sets out of service therefore there was nothing coming from Cardiff, a delay while FGW managed to find a working 158 from St Phillips depot. Average loading on this 2 car, but I hate to think what Cardiff/Newport passengers were going through

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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