|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
An impractical journey - Swindon to Melksham for an afternoon meeting - 4673/8529
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Friday, 9th November 2007
Behind the dramatic drop in journey numbers are many, many, many individual jouneys that are mucked up by an utter lack of trains at appropriate times. I have a vistor coming later this month from Swindon - just 25 minutes by train if there was one running - and I find myself telling im he needs to leave 2 HOURS before our appointment. I wrote
Neither the lunchtime train into Melksham nor the 5 p.m. departure are running this year, so XXXX's best bet is a car, a taxi from Chippenham railway station, or a bus from the BUS station there which leaves at 13:00 and gets to Melksham at 13:28. The 12:00 from Swindon (or the 12:26 if XXXX can walk very briskly across Chippenham) connects into that bus. Although Melksham is a largish town with a population of around 24000, we're only five minutes from the centre.
It struck me after I had completed the call with you that XXXX might even prefer an evening meeting, as it would give him an easy journey on the 18:42 from Swindon into Melksham at 19:08, and in the evening we can either offer accommodation for him to start on the 06:44 or 07:17 the next morning or give him a lift back to Chippenham (I can "get away" to do that later in evening, but not easily during the day).
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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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