Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Severn Beach Cutbacks - thin end of a long wedge - 52/96
Written by David Preston on Wednesday, 26th October 2005

I don't know if you know, but reading in the latest Rail magazine which came out today (26/10/05) that Christian Wolmar says in his article that the Severn Beach line may be reduced to a guided bus way or replaced by buses.

As someone who has used the line in the past, it is very busy in the mornings and evenings especially to Clifton Down, Stapleton Road, and very cheap. As someone coming in from Chippenham, I used to have the portion to Clifton thrown in for free in the ticket price.

As a professional railwayman who has been working in the industry for a number of years as well as an enthusiast, I feel that the campaign for Melksham will fall on deaf ears despite our best interests as Labour have no intention to improve or expand rail services in England. If Melksham was in Wales or in Scotland we might have a better chance, but the general theme seems to be one of saving money. The government is afraid of spending any more money on rail after the huge cost overruns on the West Coast Main Line, studies on Thameslink 2000, and Cross rail.

Last year I recall the DFT - Department for Transport advertised for the position of closures manager, to oversee the closure of parts of the network. I am afraid if this daft government gets its real agenda in full swing, there will be the mass cull of rural rail lines and stations. Time to emigrate from this useless country I think. They've mucked up our NHS, our car and shipping industry is no more, mucked up the power industry so we have the prospect of blackouts in under 10 years, driven out manufacturing and decimated our rail industry of talented people. Both political parties are as bad as each other.

If BR managed ok with a billion of taxpayers money, why does it cost almost

Re: Severn Beach Cutbacks - thin end of a long wedge - 52/101
Written by Nick Field on Sunday, 30th October 2005

Interesting post Dave - I guess thats why we need people like Graham and the rest of us to help promote the line and service, write letters to the DFT / MP's etc.  The more noise that is made then the better the chance of keeping / improving services. 

Re: Severn Beach Cutbacks - thin end of a long wedge - 52/103
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 1st November 2005

You'll find that you do have the support of the railway operation staff too ... at least with the current operator.  Nick, you're right - we need to keep writing letters and keep on the map ...

1. Melksham

2. The ONLY rail link across Wiltshire from North to South

3. The railway that links the major centres of Swindon and Southampton

The more reasoned noise, the better. Yes.  But - please - reasoned;  I'm not one for stretching points and coming up with a demonstrably wrong or emotional argument in an otherwise good approach will question the reliability of the rest of the approach.  I remember a neighbour we used to live next door to; she had some good arguments but she had some wacky ideas too, and the next result was "Oh, it's just xxxxx again" and her good arguments got discounted right away.

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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