Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Madness! - 613/1851
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 7th November 2006

One of our customers this week flew into Bristol on Friday night and spend the weekend in the Bristol and South Wales areas ... before coming over to Melksham by train on Sunday.    He was telling me of a journey from Bristol to Cardiff where the train turned out to be a "single coach train" - presumably a 153 unit - which was grossly overcrowded and had to leave a lot of people behind ... people swearing they would never rely on the train again, looking to get taxis, etc.

There are times that trains get cancelled, where there are operational requirements that cause shortening, etc ... and I've always looked with sympathy for the operators in the past.  However, this sort of thing / report seems to be coming something of a norm and I have to wonder if it's rather more than just bad luck - it crosses my mind that we've moved from an occasional problem to problems of this sort being routine.  Heaven help us when lots of trains are taken away in December and service frequencies cut.

My customer arrived in to Melksham on Sunday evening by the train up from Trowbridge - that's one of the two our of six trains that WILL survive on Sunday after 9th December.  I've been scratching my head as to why on earth the new Sunday service is two evening trains from Westbury to Swindon - no daytime trains, nothing in the other direction. I don't see this as being the best time to sell travel on the line.  Sure enough, he tells me that the train was virtually empty.

Present madness, future madness.  Perhaps some points and questions for Andrew Seedhouse, representing the DfT at the Trowbridge meeting at 7 pm tonight!

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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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