Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Still No Radstock / TransWilts Services - 3115/6459
Written by Lee on Monday, 23rd July 2007

Ever wondered why there isnt a train service from Radstock up through the Melksham line? Have a look at the link below.

Quotes :

"2.4 That discussions be held with relevant Train Operating Companies to identify the potential for providing passenger services to Radstock, taking account of (a) the findings of the W S Atkins and Railway Consultancy studies carried out on behalf of the Frome/Radstock Rail Steering Group; (b) the steps needed to secure potential OPRAF support; (c) the forthcoming Rail Development Partnership scheme; and (d) the recent moves to establish the `Brunel Link' community railway partnership between Frome and Swindon;"

"5.3 On the issue of the potential demand for rail services the WS Atkins report concluded that a heritage railway could attract some 40,000 visitors a year, increasing in the longer term if the link to Frome is achieved. Assessing the potential demand for conventional passenger service, WS Atkins took a much more pessimistic figure that that put forward by The Railway Consultancy. Both identified the potential for achieving a single return journey between Radstock and Swindon via Westbury, Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham. The enhancement of this line is currently being promoted by local communities as the Brunel Link. Whilst The Railway Consultancy took a positive view of its potential, WS Atkins concluded that it is unlikely to be an attractive service and believed that the provision of additional services to serve Radstock would require a substantial operating subsidy that would have to be financed by the local authorities or OPRAF."

"5.4 WS Atkins did not come to a firm conclusion on the potential for rail freight but stressed that to be viable services would have to attract a key bulk customer to form a core business. The BOCM Pauls animal feedmill was identified as a possible customer of this kind."

The North Somerset Railway have so far failed either to provide a heritage or commuter passenger service on the Radstock line (link below.)

An attempt by a local company to run freight trains out of Radstock did nearly succeed in 2002 - 2003 , but was scrapped due to the withdrawal of rail freight grant funding. A container train had to be left in storage at Wokingham as a result.

However , with the DfT now spraying rail freight grants around like confetti......(link below.)

Maybe they will have another go.

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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