Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
It's official - TransWilts has crap timings because of the Stroud Valley - 380/1144
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 7th August 2006

The movement of the morning train yet earlier, and the evening train yet later, in spite of our consultation inputs for the reverse, looked like a slap in the face for Swindon to Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury passengers.  On my "blog" a couple of days ago, and in email too, I asked for the real reasons behind this - a bit of honesty - and I'm delighted to have received and answer from Andrew Griffiths.  He writes.

As a quick glance at the timetable will show, we've had to resource the Melksham service using the Stroud Valley unit - which is why the timings can't me moved as we all would like.  With two sections of single line and a busy mainline in between pathing is very constrained.

Andrew, THANK YOU for your honesty. And THANK YOU for confirming that you, too, would like to be providing us with a train at a more appropriate time.

I'm aware that the service was resourced from the Stroud Valley back in the days prior to Wessex trains, but since then it's been resourced from the Southampton / Westbury end. I don't yet understand why they've had to go back to supplying the train via the Stroud Valley with (as Andrew says) issues of single track from Swindon to Kemble as well, when there's trains of the type that will serve our line buzzing up and down through (and terminating at) Westbury all the time.  There's even a Southampton to Westbury shuttle that could be extended through.

Re: It's official - TransWilts has crap timings because of the Stroud Valley - 380/1145
Written by Nick Field on Wednesday, 9th August 2006

At least just a little honesty for once !

Re: It's official - TransWilts has crap timings because of the Stroud Valley - 380/1157
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 10th August 2006

I've an enormous amount of time for Andrew ... a huge respect for what he did in the South West, and his openness - as in this case - to confirm that the timing of the train that's serving both Melksham and Kemble-to-Stonehouse is biased towards when it's needed at those Stroud Valley stations.

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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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