Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
no450 / Gatwick Express Merry Go - Round - 2185/5101
Written by Lee on Saturday, 5th May 2007

From the no450 campaign website (

"The no450 campaign was set up as a direct result of South West Trains decision to withdraw a considerable number of Mainline Class 444 Trains from the London Waterloo to Portsmouth City Stations , and replacing them with Outer-Suburban Class 450 Trains."

"These Class 450 Trains , with their 3+2 seating are cramped and uncomfortable , and are referred to as Outer Suburban Trains. When they were first procured , they were painted blue and fitted with suburban route maps , as opposed to the Class 444 Trains with 2+2 seating which are painted white and fitted with Long Distance Route Maps."

"The decision to re-shuffle stock appears to be a direct result of the South West Trains decision to withdraw the 24 Class 442 (White) Trains from the Southampton , Bournemouth and Weymouth routes and re-assign a large number of the Portsmouth Class 444 Trains to that route. There are 45 Class 444 Trains (5-car units) in the South West Train fleet."

"Many Class 450 Trains that now serve the Portsmouth route were re-assigned from routes such as Reading , where the Class 458 Trains, which had been withdrawn, were brought back into service."

Here is an interesting link from the no450 forum.

Quotes from the DfT :

"The new Gatwick Express service will begin in December 2008 under the same branding and with the same frequency to and from the airport. Luggage storage will continue be provided to accommodate the needs of airport passengers."

"Six Gatwick Express trains in the 90-minute height of the morning peak will start at Brighton, calling at Haywards Heath, Gatwick and London Victoria. Some will also call at intermediate stations including Preston Park, Hassocks, Burgess Hill and Wivelsfield. The same service will return southbound in the evening high peak. These trains will comprise a minimum of 10 carriages - compared with the current 7-car Gatwick Express trains."

"Extra carriages for the service are due to be provided by the leasing of several class 442 vehicles which are not currently in use."

Re: no450 / Gatwick Express Merry Go - Round - 2185/5137
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 8th May 2007

This forms part of a wider process. See link below.

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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