Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Threat of strike - First Great Western connecting services - 20/22
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 24th September 2005

On 3rd, 11th and 19th October, ASLEF's First Great Western drivers are threanening to strike, and it's anticipated that connecting services off the Swindon to Westbury and Southampton service to London, South Wales, and the South West will be severely restricted or won't run at all.

The train service on the Swindon - Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge - Westbury run shouldn't be effected, though I expect it might get VERY crowded between Chippenham and Swindon!

Re: Threat of strike - First Great Western connecting services - 20/45
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 1st October 2005

Threat removed.  Trains should run as normal.

Re: Threat of strike - First Great Western connecting services - 20/152
Written by philmcm on Sunday, 4th December 2005

"Connecting services" is a laugh.  :-\

I regularly travel (back) from London to Melksham, aiming to get the train which leaves Swindon at 14:23

On 3 occasions in the past two months the London train's been running late, leaving me with a nail-biting final 20 minutes or so to see if the train to Melksham is still sitting in it's little bay at Swindon Station when we got there - most recently I was on the train BEFORE the one I'd usually get, expecting to have to wait 45 minutes at Swindon. That one got in at 14:24, and as usual the Wessex train had left already.

There seems to be no concept of the local train waiting for the mainline connecting train for the benefit of any passengers, irrespective of the fact that it (the local train) is obviously going to hold up the express, at least as far as Thingly Junction where it veers off onto the single line. Daft, I call it.

Mind you, for the benefit of anyone else finding themselves in this situation - I've found it's worth going to the enquiries desk on Platform 2, because (to date anyway) they have at least always paid for a taxi to get me back to Melksham.

Re: Threat of strike - First Great Western connecting services - 20/154
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 4th December 2005

The official reply I've heard is that connecting services will wait if that's in the interest of the majority of passengers ... and that reply is heavily seeded with a caveat that tells us that for most trains the connecting passengers form just a tiny minority of the traffic.

Unofficially, if company X's train is held back by the late running of another train - especially if that other train is run by company Y - it effects their punctuality figures and can end up costing them money, so they will typically not hold connections.

Along the same lines, the staff at Swindon (First Great Western) HAVE been good of late with arranging taxis - they did it for one of our customers last week too.

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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