Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Network Rail On Probation Over First Great Western Delays - 3959/7522
Written by Lee on Monday, 10th September 2007

Britain's rail regulator has defended its decision to give Network Rail a further two months to improve its performance on the First Great Western routes before it considers enforcement action and a fine (link below.)

The Office of Rail Regulation hauled Network Rail's chief executive , Iain Coucher , into a meeting last month to explain why delays attributable to the infrastructure operator were running ahead of a joint plan it had put together with the train operator.

Last month, in its quarterly monitor of Network Rail's performance to June 23 , the ORR said the First Great Western train service "continues to suffer from very high levels of delays attributed to Network Rail". Pointing to a series of "major incidents", the ORR said hold-ups caused by Network Rail were 15pc-25pc more than projected in the "joint performance improvement plan" - a situation since aggravated by July's floods.

Describing Network Rail's performance as "exceptionally disappointing", ORR said it had recently met with Mr Coucher "to seek assurance that everything possible is being done to turn the situation round quickly ".

In a letter last week to Alison Forster , First Great Western's managing director , the ORR said it had made clear that unless Network Rail cut delays "or convinced us that it was taking every possible step that it reasonably could to do so , we would have to consider the possibility of enforcement action".

The letter went on to say , however, that "in the light of what we heard at that meeting, and of further written responses from Network Rail, we have decided to hold back from that course for the time being".

Sources close to First Great Western said the ORR had effectively put Network Rail on probation.

Re: Network Rail On Probation Over First Great Western Delays - 3959/8096
Written by sumila on Monday, 8th October 2007

With reference to the final line of this posting.

Well, FGW would say that, wouldn't they!

Re: Network Rail On Probation Over First Great Western Delays - 3959/8107
Written by courgettelawn on Tuesday, 9th October 2007

I ask again, to whom are the fines payable, are these channelled in any useful direction or to ORR coffers??

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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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