Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Franchise Bidders Announced - 503/1472
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 19th September 2006

Preffered bidders for the Cross Country , West Midlands & East Midlands Franchises have been announced (links below.)

Re: Franchise Bidders Announced - 503/1496
Written by Lee on Friday, 22nd September 2006

Here is a link to a First corporate press release on this.

Here are some quotes :

"First is the only operator to run InterCity, commuter, regional, sleeper, open access and freight rail services."

Re: Franchise Bidders Announced - 503/1499
Written by Lee on Friday, 22nd September 2006

Here is a link to the Stagecoach press release on this.

Without wishing to express a preference , and noting that the First press release mentions "Continuing our consultation with stakeholders" &

Re: Franchise Bidders Announced - 503/1793
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 31st October 2006

Tender invitations have been issued for the new Cross Country , East Midlands and West Midlands rail franchises (links below.)

Interesting quotes :

"Snow Hill services: In addition Chiltern Railways (M40 Trains Ltd) are being invited to submit a separate proposal for the Snow Hill services to Birmingham."

"Penzance and destinations in the South West will continue to be served by the same number of Cross Country trains and a new contractual commitment to operate summer services between the North East and North West of England to Newquay."

"Timetable changes - West Midlands franchise. The timetable operated until December 2008 will be similar to today. Bidders will be asked to price an option for the retention of the Walsall - Wolverhampton service from December 2007."

From 2008 services changes include :

"A broadly hourly new London - Crewe semi-fast service, serving Trent Valley stations, Stone and Stoke on Trent."

"Curtailment of the current hourly Birmingham - Walsall - Cannock - Stafford service at Rugely Trent Valley, with a connection at Rugely Trent Valley with the London - Crewe semi-fast service. Bidders are also required to improve Rugely Trent Valley station."

"A dedicated London and Kettering service will be introduced from December 2008, which will pave the way for the extension of London trains through to Corby if a new station is given the go-ahead."

"A new station, East Midlands Parkway, will be serviced by London - Nottingham services and will get at least 2 trains per hour"

"DfT has not included all off-peak services between Market Harborough and London in the specification. More popular peak time services will remain and will become faster at the 2008 timetable change. Bidders are free to propose running off-peak services." (click on

The Stakeholder Briefing Documents for all 3 franchises can be found in the links 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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