Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Petition to provide a hourly direct train service between Trowbridge and Swindon - 5449/9695
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 27th January 2008

Important update at base of post

A new petition has appeared on the Prime Minister's web site, saying:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Create a rail franchise to provide a hourly direct train service between Trowbridge and Swindon. The petition originator is a Martin Noke (anagram - "Trainmen OK" - thanks, Phil for that!) and the closing date is October 18th 2008.

Martin goes on to detail "There are currently only three passenger trains a day running between Trowbridge which is the county town of Wiltshire and Swindon which is the county's largest population centre. No additional track investment will be required. A regular train service would have a significant impact upon road congestion in the area."

An hourly service along the TransWilts corridor - linking Swindon, Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Frome / Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Salisbury, as called for by the petitioner, is indeed what I consider to be the correct and appropriate level of service. I'm not alone in that view - it's shared by many others who are more educated on the subject than I am - indeed, if you study the corridor in depth it's probably the obvious conclusion. But with the big problems and stock shortages FGW are having elsewhere, to ask for such a service in the very short term could be one step too far.

There is plenty of time before Martin's petition closes, so at this stage I'll endorse his aim of an appropriate service - but I'll look to learn more to the background of his precise wording and service level request (and his suggestion that a new franchise be set up for the purpose!) before I make detailed comment on the specifics, or a decision whether or not to sign and to give my reasons.

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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