Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Mystic Save The Train? - 610/1837
Written by Lee on Sunday, 5th November 2006

The UK's rail franchising system is a complex , fragmented and "costly muddle", for which passengers will end up paying the price , MPs have warned (link below.)

[quote author=Lee link=topic=510.msg1799#msg1799 date=1162385412]The factor that worries me most about the new DfT Closure Guidance is that both TOC's and Network Rail can propose a closure.

The TOC's are likely to consider this if they find themselves having difficulty paying the franchise premiums (as GNER have) , and the cost savings of service withdrawal are seen as the only way out. The Jacobs Greater Western Franchise Replacement Outline Business Case Report offers a blueprint for potential closure cost / benefit analysis.

Network Rail are likely to consider this if they come under pressure to free up capacity for extra freight trains.

Even if in future , the DfT wanted to veto a closure , they would not be able to as the decision would rest with the ORR and not the Secretary Of State.

However , in both of the above scenarios , Ministers will be able to say "not our fault , blame them."[/quote]

"At the end of the day, passengers will pay the price when operators cut service levels or hike fares to pay the premiums" - Gwyneth Dunwoody , Commons transport select committee chairman.

[quote author=Lee link=topic=510.msg1710#msg1710 date=1161683136]
[quote author=Graham Ellis link=topic=510.msg1540#msg1540 date=1159376989]The payment of large premiums by operators for contracts to run train services is, in essence, a tax on train travel with the operators each having to vie against each other to see who can apply the highest rate of tax and still have a viable business.

Re: Mystic Save The Train? - 610/1838
Written by Lee on Sunday, 5th November 2006

Bob Crow (RMT) has some strong words on this issue (link below.)

Re: Mystic Save The Train? - 610/1839
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 5th November 2006

[quote author=Lee link=topic=610.msg1837#msg1837 date=1162731794]
Considering that neither of us actually work in the railway industry , Graham , maybe its time for a career change ;D

I had a breakfast meeting with a fellow campaigner on railway issues just over a week ago.

Re: Mystic Save The Train? - 610/1840
Written by Lee on Sunday, 5th November 2006

[quote author=Graham Ellis link=topic=610.msg1839#msg1839 date=1162733791]I had a breakfast meeting with a fellow campaigner on railway issues just over a week ago.

Re: Mystic Save The Train? - 610/1842
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 5th November 2006

It would be lovely - really lovely - if I felt that we had effected the position materially.

Re: Mystic Save The Train? - 610/1845
Written by Lee on Monday, 6th November 2006

[quote author=Graham Ellis link=topic=610.msg1842#msg1842 date=1162743393]and on the other hand perhaps it's our requests for the morning train to be a little later and the evening train to be a little later that lead the timetablers to do the exact opposite .... based on a hidden agenda to supress the service, and our strong clues as to what would (and would not) be used.[/quote]

I would add the following to that , Graham.

Moving the morning train had the effect of ensuring that the Stroud Valley commuter train arrived in Gloucester at a more suitable time before 0900 (link below.)

Moving the evening train ensured that the following commitment could be made (link below.)

"High Speed Train services from London Paddington to Weston-super-Mare will be retimed to provide more capacity from Bristol Temple Meads in the evening peak."

Ironically , it looks like services on this route (which are to be paralled by a Showcase Bus Route) could be about to become "the new Melksham." (links below.)

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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