Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
News from other campaign groups - 4634/8456
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 5th November 2007

Some interesting comments / information from Rail Future national meeting, Ely, 3.11.07

Presenation by group from France, looking at the overall public transport with concentration on rail, primarlity in the Ile de France region.  As I was "next on", I'm afraid that I concentrated more on checking my own notes than listening to the presentation in detail, but I notes.

"Wagon Wheel Effect" - 80% of commutes in and out of Paris are by public transport, but only 20% of the commutes that are between suburbs.  I would be interested to know the London figure.  I also classify Trowbridge - Swindon as "between suburbs" for this measure.

Some growth rates on improved services quoted - into double figures, as has been shown on the TransWilts too.  So this isn't local or even national - why on earth is the curent service based on 0.8% growth which is less that a tenth of the practical experience that everyone seems to have?

In France, the customer pays around 70% of the true cost of his trip, with there being a subsidy of around 30%.

Presentations by the Fen Line Rail User's Group, and the Cotswold Line Group both showed how such campaigns can succeeed.

King's Lynn has a population of 57000 and at one time was threatened with closure. But train services have risen from 5 a day to 23.  Like Melksham, King's Lynn is about 100 miles from London.  This line also serves Watlington, Downham Market, Littleport (exclusively) and Ely and Waterbeach along with several other operators. There are now no fewer than 62 trains a day between Ely and Cambridge.  I note that Cambridge is NOT part of the campaign but rather is the main destination.

Key points - Reasonable Aspitations
- Talk to everyone and keep everyone on side
Sound bits - "The railways are now far more nationalised than they were when under nationalisation"

Cotswold Line Promotion Group.  Another excellent case or re-growth, this time within what is now the FGW area. At one stage, the line was served by two expresses a day for commuter traffic, and an Oxford - Worcster shuttle during the day. Aspiration is an hourly though service, London to Worcster, during the day with extensions of alternate trains to Hereford.  And half hourly in the peak.

These give us hope and inspiration as well as a great deal of practical hints and tips.  By nature of such a day, there's a limit to how many notes I can take to this is something of a summary - especially of those talks directly before and after mine!

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