Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
New traffic figure - 41/68
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 10th October 2005

I have just received the following ....

Guards counted passengers earlier in the year (spring) and found the following:

Swindon - Westbury

0630 Departure

Re: New traffic figure - 41/72
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 12th October 2005

OK ... that's a useful insite.

I'm ... gobsmacked ... that EVEN ON THESE FIGURES the bidders for the new frachise are asked to retain the evening train (with a maximum average of 4 persons on it from Westbury to Swindon) and yet trash the first train of the morning which pulls into Westbury with an average of 28 persons on board.    That strikes me as operational convenience (I think they have a specific timetable and use of the train for the rest of the time on another line in mind!) rather than what's wanted or required.

I also note that the figures stop at Westbury.  Why?  The current service is SOUTHAMPTON to Swindon and there's also traffic and through traffic on the section South of Westbury.  Shouldn't the figures made available for the current service include the complete route of the current service if they're to be meaningful?

Re: New traffic figure - 41/73
Written by Nick Field on Wednesday, 12th October 2005

It would be interesting to see if the late evening trains back from Swindon /Chippenham are busier on a Friday and Saturday as these nights are more popular 'going out' nights?  (I know of some people who came to the Chippenham Beer Festaival back in April and caught the last train back to Melksham)

Re: New traffic figure - 41/74
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 12th October 2005

Following on ... did you see the even newer traffic figures that I got from the office of the Rail regulator showing a SEVEN FOLD increas in traffic to and from Melksham in five years?

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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