Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/453
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 12th March 2006

I understand that the 2 x 153 type trains in the Central Trains livery that have been helping out on the Wessex services are to be returned from whence they were borrowed on 13th of this month ... so reducing the fleet of these trains which form the mainstay of services on our line from 15 to 13.

Although we've had severe stock shortages recently, and that's lead to many cancellations, the problem has been more in the serviing than the number of units phyically at the Cardiff depot, so hopefully the service won't get any worse.

Re: Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/461
Written by Sion Bretton on Monday, 13th March 2006

They used a "153" on 6.56 services  from Melksham this AM.

Re: Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/462
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 13th March 2006

[quote author=Sion Bretton link=topic=186.msg461#msg461 date=1142275954]
They used a "153" on 6.56 services

Re: Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/524
Written by Sion Bretton on Saturday, 22nd April 2006

I am still see the Central Trains on they formal Wessex lines picked up passengers at trowbridge.

Re: Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/529
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 22nd April 2006

Ahha ... which goes to prove, then, that I shouldn't believe everything I'm told  :P

Q; What does it cost to hire a "153" for a year.  I've asked 4 people and had 4 different figures quoted.  I'm just now trying to work out which one is most accurate, and perhaps how they're all based on different criteria.

Re: Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/530
Written by Lee on Saturday, 22nd April 2006

Government statistics (October 2005) state the cost of hiring a Class 153 train for a year as being

Re: Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/531
Written by Lee on Saturday, 22nd April 2006

Just a further note on this. The

Re: Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/532
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 23rd April 2006

Yes, that's where the 630k comes from.  So it reduces to 430k for a 153 according to your 100k less per coach removed.

However, Friday night, Andrew Griffiths from First told me 150k per 153, plus 300k per annum to crew it and for all the ancilliary costs. So perhaps that's included in the 630k - was it lease price, or lease and crew price. 

At a figure of between 400k and 500k "all in", the service looks much more viable.  Taking ticket sales of 27k per year (all that ORR could give me) and noting that 3 or 4 people stay on the typical train at Melksham for every 1 who gets on or off, you're starting to look at some 100,000 journeys per annum - and income of 500k if the average person pays a fiver.  Now take the fact that the line has been rapidly expanding ... if it's break even THIS year, then what's it going to be like in 5 years; bear in mind I've costed in a complete 153 and not just part-of-day use, so that the journeys could be the regular two hourly service that would thrive and grow.

Re: Goodbye, Central Trains "153"s - 186/541
Written by Sion Bretton on Monday, 24th April 2006

The Central Trains 153 was the 6.56 service to Southampton this morning.

Looks odd "Central Train" with Staff in a uniform for first great western!  :P

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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