Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Dilton Marsh - 5195/9338
Written by barryslip on Tuesday, 8th January 2008

I live in Dilton Marsh, 1 mile away from the station.  Although I do not use the train every day (I find it quicker and cheaper to drive to work), I am finding it increasingly frustrating and difficult to use our station for daily commutes to and from work.

I work in Bristol during office hours, 9:00 to 5:00.  Getting to Bristol is not a problem as there are trains at 0636, 0727 and 0746.  It

Re: Dilton Marsh - 5195/9340
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 8th January 2008

A warm welcome to the forum.

I visited Dilton Marsh recently, and was struck by how many households (and thus potential passengers) there were within the radius of the station. This potential can only grow in the future.

We have been pushing very hard for a better service, and its a pleasure to have someone from Dilton Marsh on board to give us an even better perspective.

Re: Dilton Marsh - 5195/9409
Written by Graz on Sunday, 13th January 2008

Yes, welcome to the forum. I now regularly travel home from Warminster to Oldfield Park using the direct 1728 Warminster- Great Malvern service. Dilton Marsh is the first stop, and I'd say over half the time we get called to stop there. The other day around six people got off. Surprisingly few get on though, although only a couple normally get on at Westbury anyway. Dilton Marsh itself is quite a big place with many houses as Lee pointed out, and in my view deserves a better service.

I completely agree that the evening service is inadequate. It's a real shame the 1722 from Bristol doesn't stop at Dilton marsh anymore as it seemed to me like the perfect commuter train back from Bristol and Bath (and even Filton). I can plainly see why th evening service is inadequate and every step should be made to reinstate this stop for people using the station who have been displaced by the change. Do you know of anyone else who no longer uses the station because of this decision?

What I propose for the station is in the short term better evening Bristol connections, and in the long term more direct trains to Salisbury. It's not so useful having almost all southbound trains which now terminate 5 minutes down the line at Warminster, as if you want to go further south you normally have to wait a further 30 minutes there- out of the question. I do realise timings are already fairly tight on FGW services, but perhaps if SWT could be persuaded to run trains from Waterloo/Salisbury up to Swindon then Dilton Marsh could certainly benefit.

Re: Dilton Marsh - 5195/12594
Written by barryslip on Wednesday, 25th June 2008


Back in March, I sent a copy of my original post to our MP Andrew Murrison, airing my concerns and frustration with the service at Dilton Marsh.  He sent it on to Andrew Haines (Chief Operating Officer) at FGW, who subsequently replied back to Andrew Murrison.  I have attached a copy of his reply to this post.  I think it's unbelievable what FGW are saying.

I'd like to see other people's views on this, and also views from those people who don't use Dilton Marsh but are on the trains which go straight through - do you feel that stopping at Dilton would inconvenience you?


Re: Dilton Marsh - 5195/12602
Written by Lee on Thursday, 26th June 2008

"Westbury-Southampton service serves Dilton Marsh" - The Westbury-Southampton service did serve Dilton Marsh prior to December 2007, but much of the service pattern was then cut back to terminate at Warminster, with a wait of around 50 minutes for southbound connections to Salisbury, Romsey and Southampton. Of course, you could travel northbound to Westbury and cut this waiting time by around half, but then that rather reduces the usefulness of several southbound Dilton Marsh services......

"Stopping trains at Dilton Marsh would require new paths/lengthen overall journey times/impede access at Southampton etc." - FOI documents show that, as part of the December 2007 timetable planning process, FGW train planners had concluded that it was possible to theoretically include extra stops at Dilton Marsh in the following services, without lengthening overall journey times :

0545 Bristol Temple Meads-Portsmouth
0630 Cardiff Central-Portsmouth

"Dilton Marsh has very low footfall of passengers" - It depends on your definition. According to the latest available station usage figures, passenger numbers at Dilton Marsh grew by 26% over a 2-year period (link below.)

As noted in earlier posts, this potential is likely to grow in the future along with planned development.

"I know this will seem like a hollow promise, however I assure you that we take our customers views very seriously" - It is indeed a hollow promise, as the logical conclusuion reached when reading this letter is that FGW dont give a monkeys about the views of Dilton Marsh passengers.

To be frank, the only way that FGW are likely to call more Cardiff-Portsmouth services at Dilton Marsh is if the DfT specify such stops and force them to. However, I am in a similar position to barryslip, in that Andrew Murrison sent a letter on much the same issue on my behalf to DfT Rail Minister Tom Harris.

The upshot of the Minister's reply was that FGW were free to add more stops in their services at Dilton Marsh, and it was down to them to do so.....

[quote author=barryslip link=topic=5195.msg12594#msg12594 date=1214394559]
I'd like to see other people's views on this, and also views from those people who don't use Dilton Marsh but are on the trains which go straight through - do you feel that stopping at Dilton would inconvenience you?

I catch the 2030 Cardiff-Portsmouth service on a fairly regular basis. It calls at Dilton Marsh, with no change to the standard journey time between Westbury-Warminster.

Therefore, the fact that the train calls there is absolutely no skin off my nose.

Re: Dilton Marsh - 5195/12611
Written by Graz on Friday, 27th June 2008

My 1728 from Warminster-Great Malvern stops at Dilton Marsh and it doesn't matter whether we stop there or not, we always leave Westbury on time. It doesn't affect me at all. I'd say we stop there around 75% of the time with people either working or having a day out at Warminster coming back up and getting off there. It's useful because there are no buses along this route.

Imagine what the potential would be should a service arrive from Salisbury? More passengers commuting or having a day out in a city or even passengers going to/from London. Dilton Marsh is a bigger place than you'd expect and the station also serves Westbury Leigh.

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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