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What might we expect (service) from next December? - 2524/5613
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 9th June 2007
[Part of my complete update ... reposted here for comment]
3. At the AGM of the Melksham Rail Development Group (yesterday evening), Andrew Griffiths of First Great Western told that FGW have no extra resources to make available from this December, BUT they have worked up a draft timetable that would take out 3 duplicated trains south of Salisbury (the Southampton stoppers that would, if they remained, double up on the new SWT local service) and use those trains instead to run from Salisbury up to Swindon and back. I've not seen details, but I understand it looks excellent for the morning, and unravels a bit later in the day. Andrew confirmed crew shortages - that even if they hired another train, they would not have the drivers, who it takes a year to train. Andrew also confirmed that extra freight is using the line via Melksham, and that this could start to limit available paths for passenger trains
[[Aside - I applaud First in pushing this timetable forward, the DfT in their new and serious look, and the County for their actions and help too. All acknowledge this as being a step in the right direction rather than a final solution - perhaps that will come at December 2008?]]
Re: What might we expect (service) from next December? - 2524/5635
Written by Lee on Monday, 11th June 2007
[quote author=Graham Ellis link=topic=2524.msg5613#msg5613 date=1181411912]Andrew also confirmed that extra freight is using the line via Melksham, and that this could start to limit available paths for passenger trains[/quote]
What Andrew actually said was this :
"A possible fly in the ointment could be that the train paths we need for the extra services may be required for freight. The Melksham line is to be developed as a freight route."
This , as regular visitors to the site will be aware , is something that I warned would happen right from the very beginning.
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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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