|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Two weeks in to new timetable. A dreadful start and getting worse - 5060/9172
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 22nd December 2007
The new timetable started on 9th December, and although it was "sold" to us on the basis of an increased robustness and reliability, it appears that First Great Western have got it very wrong again.
I've been keeping a note of trains on the TransWilts line as best I can - my data is partial - and even I am aware of ...
Trains replaced by buses or running part route only on 9th, 16th and 17th December due to engineering works.
Cancellations on 10th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and 22nd December ... with the cancellation rate in the last 3 days being 75% (i.e. 3 out of 4 services), 25% and at least 50% on 22nd.
What level of cancellations IS acceptable? Well - the target that's set for the Franchise is for over 99% of services to run.
We're campaiging for an improved schedule ... with trains running at times of day when they're useful rather than what is known as "margnal time" by the railway industry - times of day that are off peak, and when te trains can be borrowed from other lines. But perhaps we should be careful that we don't just campaign to get one fictional timetable replaced by another.
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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
Letter to DfT
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