Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
most people ive seen at night! - 39/62
Written by The Whitley Wonder on Saturday, 8th October 2005

bit late, apologies, but on my way back on the 2211 to Westbury (getting off at melksham, had to walk to atworth!!) and there was 1 person on it. the next day there was about 6-7 (including me), never seen more than 2 on the 2211 before.

Re: most people ive seen at night! - 39/64
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 9th October 2005

I quite often meet people off the last trains of the day - people who've done a full day's work in London, grabbed a bite to eat, and travelled out to Melksham for a course starting the next day on the 19:35 (change at Westbury) or 20:45 (Change at Swindon).

Re: most people ive seen at night! - 39/65
Written by philmcm on Sunday, 9th October 2005

Graham, I suspect the reasoning you can't work out, ie why "they" keep the least used service, is simply because that way they can still show they're running more than one train each way every day (thus keeping people like us relatively quiet) - and then at a later date produce statistics which prove those services aren't used very much, and keep the shareholders happy by cutting them as well.

Re: most people ive seen at night! - 39/66
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 9th October 2005

Phil, the thoughty did cross my mind ... but I was attempting to be not quite so cynical.  It also struck me that the evening is a time of day when the rolling stock won't be so heavily in use, so an extra service could be run without any capital investment in any more trains.  But I wouldn't dream of every posting such a comment.    Oooooops  :-*

Re: most people ive seen at night! - 39/75
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 13th October 2005

Following on here, a couple of days later.  I've just got this feeling that "they" even had the timetable planned before the invitation to tender when out and they have another use for the train once it gets up to Swindon (very early - you watch) in the morning until it returns (late - watch again) in the evening rush hour.  In the evening, it's not planned for anything else so it can be run up and down the Swindon to Westbury line without impacting any other service, and "they" can tell us that we have 4 trains a day stopping at Melksham which is twice the number we had 10 years ago.  Remember that cost and punctuality are the franchise objectives ...

Please excuse me sounding slightly cynical this morning ... but you'll find figures that I just got in the last couple of days show that traffic has grown over 7 fold and (even on official figures) the evening train is by far the quietest.  So I get a feeling that our line is being treated as an incidental cog in a much bigger wheel ... and there's a hope that our cog doesn't squeak too much through lack of service oil.

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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