Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Pilning Revisited (13/10/2007) - 4467/8242
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 17th October 2007

I last visited Pilning station in July 2006. Here is whats changed (and what hasnt) :

[quote author=Lee link=topic=36.msg1129#msg1129 date=1154773685]Pilning station is currently served by stops in the West Country - Weston - Super - Mare - Cardiff Central service.

This service does not appear in the final FGW December 2006 timetable and neither do any trains that call at Pilning.[/quote]

The Weston - Cardiff service is to return , but the Monday - Friday Pilning stops wont be making a comeback.

[quote author=Lee link=topic=36.msg1129#msg1129 date=1154773685]Pilning has 10 car parking spaces available.[/quote]

And still does today. Thats 8 more parking spaces than the number of trains that call at Pilning per week.

[quote author=Lee link=topic=36.msg1129#msg1129 date=1154773685]A very recent independent assessment of the Pilning station facilities found that the nameboards had not been First Great Western "re-branded , " unlike the vast majority of stations on the FGW network. First have been there , because they have put up a FGW poster and taped over the Wessex Train logos.[/quote]

The nameboards on the footbridge are now FGW - branded , but the one on the former station building still has "Wessex Trains" written on it. FGW have now put a poster up stating "there is a very limited train service from this station" (!) and which also lists the 2 trains per week that call there. To give them credit , the shelters are in good condition (better than at Melksham , for example) and the usual no - smoking / train tracker signs are on display. The information point (for what its worth) is also in working order.

[quote author=Lee link=topic=36.msg1129#msg1129 date=1154773685]Pilning has a telephone box but it is in a very poor state , and it was suspected that the telephone itself had not worked for some time (emergency calls only.)[/quote]

Its still not working.

[quote author=Lee link=topic=36.msg1129#msg1129 date=1154773685]The former sidings at Pilning are up for sale by BRB (Residuary) (link below.) The former coal yard at Pilning is actually "under offer."[/quote]

The sidings are still up for sale , but the coal yard has now been sold.

[quote author=Liam link=topic=423.msg1417#msg1417 date=1184778581]I can't see loadings being very high on a Pilning train. It is in the middle of nowhere![/quote]

Heres an interesting fact :

I was at Mottisfont & Dunbridge station very early the same morning.

Did you know that there are less houses within 5 minutes walk of Mottisfont & Dunbridge station than there are within 5 minutes walk of Pilning station?

Yet Mottisfont & Dunbridge will have a 2 - hourly (rising to hourly in the peak) service from December 2007 , while Pilning will remain on 2 trains per week! This is bizarre , when a study of the timetable tells us that there is virtually no time penalty to be accrued from calling at Pilning (same principle as STJ on the other side of the tunnel.) As if to prove my point , a totally unannounced 1508 service called when I was there waiting for the 1541 to Cardiff (anyone know why?)

While I wouldnt begrudge Mottisfont & Dunbridge their improved service for one moment , I do feel that some consistency (even if only in the form of a Monday - Friday commuter service) is called for regarding Pilning.

There is a lively Coffee Shop debate on this subject in the link below.

Re: Pilning Revisited (13/10/2007) - 4467/8384
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 30th October 2007

Account of a recent FOSBR visit to Pilning (link below.)

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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