Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Campaign for an appropriate service - where are we now? - 4815/8797
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 26th November 2007

The following is an update just written ... in answer to a request to attend a meeting next week; regrettably I won't be there as I'm training in the Balkans - thus the writing which I wanted to share

I'm taking the liberty of doing a "reply all" on this email to update anyone who's not aware of what's going on with train services to / from Melksham - cut and retimed to near-useless last December, as you may recall.

There's now common acknowledgment for the three key players - First Great Western, the Department for Transport, and the County Council that the cut was "one cut too far" and that there is a strong case for a much improved service. A huge amount of work was done during last summer, with studies done by the key players resulting in draft timetables that would have put the service back up to 10 trains a day (all be they not ideally timed).  Alas - that part of the proposal fell at the last stage; we do have one extra train a week (southbound on Sunday) which happens to suit my own business well.

However - there's now an even stronger case being put for December 2008.  I met with two First Great Western directors in August and they were giving me very positive indications, and again last week I met with the new route director (John Curley) who visited Melksham to talk through issues for the whole of the "TransWilts" service.  The County has prepared a report than shows that an hourly service is appropriate for the line (based on population size, traffic flows, road alternatives, future growth, character of trips) but in practise a service offered by one train doing "round" trips from Swindon to Salisbury (or Westbury or Warminster) would be an excellent step forward and is what all parties - and "Save the Train" too - are aiming at.

But I get the message loud and strong that The County Council (via your elected representatives) and the Department for Transport  need to receive substantial inputs from a number of locally based people and bodies to confirm the continuing need for a service of this type.    So can I ask ....

a) Can Melksham xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx committee please make the strong case again

b) Can each of you reading this please make the case to your councillor, or MP, or prospective MPs, or the Depratment for Transport (copies would be appreciated)

In the New Year, Save the Train is planning to encourage further local input ... what I put as a 5% chance a year ago is somewhere around a 50% chance for December 2008, and it's something that YOU can make a difference in.  So "THANK YOU" in advance for following up on this!


P.S. If any groups would like a speaker on the subject or on wider train / bus integration topics .... I would be happy to oblige.

As this is addressed to a Melksham group, it was written with a Melksham perspective. But don't forget that for every passenger who left / joined the service here when it ran at a more appropriate level, a further 4 stayed on the train. Chippenham to Salisbury. Swindon to Trowbrige. As well as Melksham to Warminster!

Re: Campaign for an appropriate service - where are we now? - 4815/8800
Written by Nick Field on Monday, 26th November 2007

[quote author=Graham Ellis link=topic=4815.msg8797#msg8797 date=1196086084]

b) Can each of you reading this please make the case to your councillor, or MP, or prospective MPs, or the Depratment for Transport (copies would be appreciated)


My email has been written and sent

Re: Campaign for an appropriate service - where are we now? - 4815/8803
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 26th November 2007

Thanks, Nick .... the beginning of a gentle flow before Christmas and perhaps a lot more in January and February.  The case is good - darned good - and it's notable how it's beginning to gather momentum with some of the movers and shakers.

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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