|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Well - HAS it improved? 15 months on from a positive aspiration - 6927/11528
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 13th April 2008
Looking through my old mail, I came across the following that was written just before Christmas 2006, from Andrew Griffiths. It's a circular letter, so it's very much in the public domain.
Although the December 2006 timetable is not yet two week old, the process has already started for planning the December 2007 timetable ... [snip] ... all observations and suggestions are very welcome.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your input and support during the early days of the new franchise. It has not all been plain sailing, of course, but everyone at FGW is looking forward to delivering real improvements in 2007, and creating stronger partnerships with you our stakeholders.
Best wishes for a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year,
Regional Manager, Central (Severn & Solent)
Taking as a "base point" the franchise when First Great Western took it over, has it improved? Did we see any real improvements on the TransWilts between 21st December 2006 (when he wrote the letter) and the end of 2007?
My own view is that the five trains a day / cancelaltion rate of about 2% of services under Wessex Trains has been replaced by a significantly poorer service - two trains a day with a 7% cancellation rate (over a three month period this winter which is the last I analysed) is NOT a significant improvement and indeed I feel it would be peverse logic for anyone to describe it as such.
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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
Letter to DfT
Save the train
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