Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Train faults - Jackanory? - 4196/7837
Written by AFCChris on Wednesday, 26th September 2007

In a post I did yesterday I cast doubt on some of the reasons FGW were giving for the cancellation of a certain service from Paddington. I saw another thing on the afternoon train bulletin which was even more bizarre and makes me wonder whether they are just using the train fault excuse as a stock excuse. This is what I am on about:

1815 Paddington to Swansea service will no longer call at Reading. This is due to a train fault.

How the hell can a train fault cause a train not to stop at a station and they know about it more than 2 hours before this is supposed to happen?



Re: Train faults - Jackanory? - 4196/7839
Written by Industry Insider on Wednesday, 26th September 2007

I certainly can't think of any reason in this particular case - some of the reasons quoted on that website are very dubious! It has been known on a few occasions for a Virgin service to/from the south coast to not call at Reading when there is a fault in the rear cab (e.g. Defective speedo) and by running it via Reading West Junction they can avoid the need to reverse direction at Reading.

Re: Train faults - Jackanory? - 4196/7842
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 26th September 2007

[quote author=AFCChris link=topic=4196.msg7837#msg7837 date=1190818863]
How the hell can a train fault cause a train not to stop at a station and they know about it more than 2 hours before this is supposed to happen?

Missing out MULTIPLE stations I could understand ... some problem with the traction system and a desire not to loose time. But just one station?

They don't actually say the fault was on the train to be used to form the 18:15 ... perhaps the platform that it normally uses was going to be blocked for some reason (knock on from another failure) and it had to go through on that middle line ...

Sorry - far fetched.

Re: Train faults - Jackanory? - 4196/8071
Written by sumila on Sunday, 7th October 2007

Interesting that a train with a fault like a faulty speedo, as an example, was allowed to leave the depot like that. The rule book says it should not do so. If the fault occured during the journey, it should be taken out of service at the earliest opportunity. Seeing as the fault occured in the rear cab, surely the fault would have been known about before the train commenced its journey from the originating station? And therefore the TOC cannot care too much about providing a proper service.
I find it incredulous that a train was allowed to miss a major stop such as Reading - but not in the least bit surprised that it happened!
FGW seem to be increasingly allowing trains off the depot which are faulty and should therefore not leave the depot in the first place.

Re: Train faults - Jackanory? - 4196/8086
Written by Industry Insider on Monday, 8th October 2007

I don't think any driver would take a train 'off depot' with a fault serious enough to contravene the Rule Book. Yes, a faulty speedo is such a fault, but not when it's in the rear cab, and IF the fault had developed before it left the depot (whilst it's not ideal) surely if there were no other trains available, running the service without a call at Reading is better than cancelling it throughout?

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

This site is hosted by Well House Consultants Ltd. (
Contact Information

Further Information:
 Current Summary
 Daily update
 User forum
 Service now
 Service future
 Future Analysis
 Recent Statistics
 Recent letters
 Letter to DfT
 Save the train
 Support us
 Other Maps
 Station facilities
 Station approach
 Trains diverted
 About Melksham
 Site Map
 About this site