Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
St Andrews Road - 593/1772
Written by Lee on Sunday, 29th October 2006

There is one station that I disregarded in my Severn Beach Line usage figures analysis (see link below.)

St Andrews Road is the intermediate station between Avonmouth - Severn Beach. Its weekday service is provided more by replacement bus than by train , and the bus observes ALL stops between Avonmouth - Severn Beach.

This , in my view , makes it impossible to come to an accurate St Andrews Road usage figure. Estimates have ranged from 4 (Jacobs) to as high as 15 passengers per day.

Judging by source information , the true figure (if you can arrive at a strictly "true" figure) is somewhat higher than 15 , especially if you take into account the number of passengers who regularly board "en - route" , for example , the 0816 & 1645 buses from Severn Beach.

Here is a link that gives a good description of what its like to travel on this unique railway line , which has been recommended by Thomas Cook's European Railway Guide as one of the scenic routes of Europe.

For me , the most interesting (if perhaps not the most scenic) part of the journey is clattering over the tracks approaching St Andrews Road station.

On the one side , you have the line to Avonmouth , which the Jacobs Greater Western Franchise Replacement Outline Business Case Report recommended truncating at Clifton Down.

On the other , you have the line to Filton , which Jacobs rejected introducing a passenger service on in its draft report and on which up to 20 extra freight trains per day are planned , and also the line to Severn Beach , on which the same report RECOMMENDED re-introducing the through train services that have been replaced by bus.

In the middle , you have St Andrews Road station & Avonmouth Docks (link below.)

Not far away , you have Cabot Park (link below.)

Here is a further link on the Severn Beach Line.

Since the above link was written , the Bristol City Council subsidy has been withdrawn.

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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