|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
If ever there was a case for needing the train... - 53/100
Written by Nick Field on Sunday, 30th October 2005
Had a day off work last Thursday. The other half and I had a day out, and due to the fact that we had several stops to make in Wiltshire and Dorset and had to bulky items to carry we decided to travel by car. On the way back home I made the mistake of taking the A350 back up to Chippenham during rush hour. The traffic was horrendous. On approach to the Roundabout at Yarnbrook there was traffic queing back for about half a mile, then once passed that we had to queue again to get through the West Ashton crossroads with cars nose to tail. All in all in took about 40 mins to travel about one mile! From there on up through Melksham and up to Chippenham it was ok but pretty slow moving a great deal of cars on the road. It just goes to show what an opportunity there is to promote modal shift, but how is that going to happen with no trains?
Re: If ever there was a case for needing the train... - 53/102
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 1st November 2005
The more and more I see / hear / listen to, the more I realise that the criteria for keeping the service into the future are odd ones. Even if a service is financially viable, it doesn't mean that it will be run ...
The criteria for the new frachise are
1. Minimise goivernment financial input or (better) maximise the return for them and
2. Run a higher proportion of trains on time.
If there's a less ambition timetable, then there's a better chance of running trains on time ...
The other issue that's rearing its ugly head seems to be a lack of rolling stock. I was at the West Wilts Rail User Group meeting last Friday, and there was talk of overcrowding on some trains ... to the extent that Wessex Trains have had to lay on a daily bus in one instance to supplement a train. They simply don't have the stock to stengthen the existing train.
It's said that adding the 1-coach Melksham train onto an overcrowded Cardiff to Portsmouth service would cause more people to travel on it that do if it's on "the TransWilts". Let's see ... 240 people crammed into a 2 coach train. Strenghten it to 3 coaches and each coach then conveys 80, which is MORE than it would be carrying on our line. The fallacy in this argument is that the people to be carried if it's reassigned would be using the train anyway ... whereas withdrawing it from the line through Melksham WOULD loose the railway business. But's that's the mentality we're fighting.
By the way ... even the lunctime train was reported as having 26 passengers from Trowbridge to Melksham the other day ...
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
Letter to DfT
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