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Reasons why trains going through melksham do not generate enough profit - 303/832
Written by drew22299 on Tuesday, 11th July 2006

Reasons why trains going through melksham do not generate enough profit

Having used train services from chippenham to trowbridge etc in the past it is evident that Melksham could generate alot more passengers going in both the Chippenham direction and trowbridge direction, if:

1) The route from the centre of Melksham to the statiom was well advertised, and that people living in Melksham were made aware of where they can get to from the station.

2) In order for people to want to use the station to get to other towns there needs to be a reliable service and with at least 8 trains during the day.

Its simple, if the service is there people will use it.

The previous service with 4 trains a day was poor, had there been more trains and it was advertised more people would have used it. As a result, and the fact that alot of people even in Chippenham, Bath etc don't even know that Melksham has a station and that is one of the main reasons for passnger number stats for the last few years and of course low numbers and profits mean reduction in services. With regards to what is meantioned on this website the Dft uses old stats and seems to choose stats that support what they want to do.

Its all about money.

Ok so if they put more services on the line it wouldn't make a profile for a few months, yes it would be 'carrying air', its all very well putting the services on there but it comes back to advertising, and the fact that first great western is not reliable doesn't help.

3) Why did they remove the other line and make it a single line? This will cause bottlenecks and delays even if there were more services, it really does give Melksham a disadvantage.


There is an unused platform at Chippenham which could be used for a train to terminate, which could run from Southampton and could use the Melksham line. Its unlikely that people getting the train from Chippenham and Swindon will be using it to get to Southampton. Most people who do want to go to Southampton change at Bath.

If the other platform was used at Chippenham more people would actually know they could get to places like Trowbridge, Sailsbury quickly without having to change at Bath. There needs to be alot of improvments and investment made before anything else can happen.

The only thing that can be done at the moment, is to have more services going through Melksham.


Re: Reasons why trains going through melksham do not generate enough profit - 303/837
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 11th July 2006

I totally agree with most of what you say (I'm stealing an illicit moment from work to write this, and welcome you, so I've not read it all ... I may agree with EVERYTHING when I get time!)

We've put a strong case for 8 trains a day (every 2 hours, timing worked out for a single unit, Swindon to Westbury) and been told there's nothing wrong with our business case.  The service would grow, and would require LESS of a subsidy that the proposed 2 trains a day at 07:19 and 19:35.

Turning at Chippenham?  I've been quoted 3 MILLION pounds for putting a track against the spare platform face and signalling it, and that there's no way ... and in any case there is no capacity problem at Swindon.  One of the real potential capacity issues is on the line through Melksham, though.  Just after the shadow transport secretary was here on Friday morning, whilc we were tidying up a LONG freight came through and it seems that there are many folks who want to see freight return to rail.  Melksham is on a possible route from Southampton to the Midlands and North  ...

Re: Reasons why trains going through melksham do not generate enough profit - 303/843
Written by drew22299 on Tuesday, 11th July 2006

I agree that there should be at least 8 trains a day to make it a worth while service and for mmore people to take it seriously, even if the trains wern't packed after leaving Melksham at least people would know that there is a station with services there if they need to get somwhere.

Have there ever been any serveys conducted in Melksham with regards to the station and how many people know about it and would use it?

Yes, a single unit is all that would be needed at the moment even with 8 trains a day, and if usage increased they could add another unit etc,

If there is nothing wrong with the bussiness case why arn't they increasing services? It comes back to first playing the game the way the DfT want, and first says they will invest income into buses which makes the DfT happy.

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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