Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Modern - Day Beeching For Germany? - 4387/8129
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 10th October 2007

Germany's Transport Minister wants to stop spending money on provincial stations with few passengers. Local politicians say that could leave passengers who live outside cities permanently cut off (link below.)

The Financial Times Germany reported on Tuesday that Germany's Social Democratic Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee has drawn up a position paper calling for drastic cuts in government subsidies stations receive.

The report says the plan involves discontinuing all subsidies for maintenance and improvements to stations where fewer than 100 people get on or off trains per day.

The station closure plan comes as Tiefensee readies legislation , to be put forth in 2008 , that would privatise parts of Germany's national rail system.

Local politicians , already wary of what privatisation could mean for their constituencies , are up in arms about proposed cuts.

"According to Tiefensee's criteria, we'd have to shut 53 percent of stations in our region," the transportation minister of Saxony-Anhalt , Karl-Heinz Daehre , told the Financial Times. "His plans are beyond discussion for Germany's federal states."

Advocacy groups also lambasted the plans , particularly reported that subsidies would be discontinued for stations with "complicated platforms," that is , containing ramps and other modifications for disabled passengers , if they did not meet a workday minimum of 1,000 passengers.

However , the transport minister's office has denied that part of the report , calling it "unfounded."

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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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