Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Perhaps this might work - 5236/9392
Written by Nick on Friday, 11th January 2008

Perhaps we could organise across the whole FGW region a mass boycott in order to get them to co-operate.

Re: Perhaps this might work - 5236/9395
Written by WyvusArconius on Saturday, 12th January 2008

Good idea.. but how do we organise a boycott on that scale? Im all up for it btw!

Thoughts anyone?

Re: Perhaps this might work - 5236/9441
Written by Nick on Tuesday, 15th January 2008

Perhaps we could hand out leaflets at train's about time the bloody government started reorganising the netwrok. It needs to be monopolised and then have it's own independent watchdog to ensure that standards are kept high.

Re: Perhaps this might work - 5236/9443
Written by WyvusArconius on Tuesday, 15th January 2008

I'm all up for that. One of my ideas for raising the "Save the Train" profile would be to run stalls/hand out leaflets at local stations. Im all up for helping to organise this..any other takers?

Re: Perhaps this might work - 5236/9445
Written by Nick on Tuesday, 15th January 2008

Being as I go to school, (I'm 14) I could print virtually unlimited amounts of info.

Re: Perhaps this might work - 5236/9446
Written by WyvusArconius on Tuesday, 15th January 2008

*Regular members of the forum may well smile at this point.. as i display a lack of my characteristic fire and impetuousness.*

An idea like this would not only need the full support of this group but also several other groups across the FGW network. It might well make FGW think.. but it would need to be done in the right manner... but yeah otherwise its a fair idea.


Re: Perhaps this might work - 5236/10508
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 2nd March 2008

Gents, I'm coming back to you a bit late - probably so late that you might have given up home of an answer.  The first two months of the year have been very interesting indeed, and the next 3 months promise to be just as interesting as well.

There's such a thing as "campaign fatigue" - where people are getting tired of a subject and perhaps a bit dis-spirited in how it's not all going forward.  And that's especially the case in train campaigning, where I have been reminded in the last few days that it took 18 years to get the extra trains to stop at Bradford-on-Avon and 15 years to get a safe platform at Freshford.  I really don't want "Save the Train" to take so long at Melksham that I'm drawing my pension or pushing daisies by the time the goal is acheived.  Love 'em or hate 'em, MTLS (More Train Less Strain) have been very effective in making their point in short, sharp bursts and have acheived a lot more than we have here - it's fair to say that their people aren't exactly the FGW director's flavour of the month, but this isn't a beauty contest.

So what has been going on?  Well - we've been keeping our ammunition dry - not pushing the public end of the campaign too hard while we establish what practical options are available, and where we may go from here.  So that we can call on supporters in due course - when their further help can be useful and we know which doors are worth pushing on.  I would rather push on a door that will open than one that is glued shut, or just looks like a door but is really a wall panel!

Grand theory.  What does it mean in practise?  It means that you haven't heard much of late, but I can now tell you that a service from Salisbury to Swindon just before half past seven in the morning, then every 3 hours, is viable from FGW - that's one open door that can be pushed on.  That would leave Salisbury at (approx) 07:25, 10:25, 13:25 and 16:35, returning from Swindon at 08:55, 11:55, 14:55 and 17:55.  And those services would be in additon to the current trains from Swindon at 06:18 and 18:45, and the trains from Westbury to Swindon at 07:00 and 19:35.

I've met with Andrew Griffiths (the FGW regional manager who you see onthe TV from time to time) to go through the options in more detail, and has a brief conversation with Andrew Haines - the CEO of First Great Western - on the subject yesterday.  It's far from a done deal. It makes better commercial sense for FGW to run the train that would be allocated to our line on a certian other line where, frankly, it's getting in the way as it competes with another operator. And there's an issue with its avaialbilty in the evening peak, where the perceived wisdom is that it might be needed to strengthen a service that's running ovecrowded via Bath to Trowbridge (odd justifiction this one as part of that ovecrowding is Swindon to West Wilts travellers forced to dogleg!)

Once I get the options sorted out .. expect a follow up. And - yes - we could really do then with everyone writing letters to let the people we've elected to look after our interests know that we favour such a scheme!

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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