Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
DfT Confirms Southern To Take Over Gatwick Express - 2612/5745
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 19th June 2007

"The Department has now given 12 months notice on the current Gatwick Express franchise, which will terminate on 22nd June 2008. From this date, it will be integrated into the current Southern franchise, operated by Govia. The DfT has secured a financial agreement for the amalgamation that is at least as favourable as the existing agreements. The new agreement also secures extra peak capacity into London and a new hourly direct service between Brighton and Southampton, which Southern will introduce in December 2007.

At first, the Gatwick Express will continue as the same service as today. From December 2008, the new-style Gatwick Express service will begin. It will retain the same branding and the same frequency, with non-stop service between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria every 15 minutes. However, it will also run beyond Gatwick to Brighton at the busiest times of day, doubling the number of London-Brighton express trains in the high peak. Extra carriages for this service will be provided by the leasing of Class 442 vehicles that are currently not in use.

The combined Southern franchise will end three months earlier in September 2009. This will ensure the winner of the franchise competition is in place to implement major changes to their south London timetable in December 2009."

"The DfT will pay Govia a subsidy of

Re: DfT Confirms Southern To Take Over Gatwick Express - 2612/11420
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 9th April 2008

A West Sussex county councillor who lobbied to save the Gatwick Express rail service from the axe has announced he is to stand down (link below.)

Lt Col Tex Pemberton, 68, cabinet member for highways and transport, is to move to the back benches after the council's meeting on 18 April.

He will not seek re-election at the county council elections in May 2009.

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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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