Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Melksham Station / train service to feature in Radio 4 program - 77/165
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 8th December 2005

The "You and Yours" program on BBC Radio 4 will be running major features on "Railway Closure by Stealth" on 20th and 21st December. Their reporter Mark Holdstock visited Melksham where the service is threatened with a two thirds cut in spite or rising traffic figures, to interview Graham Ellis who's running the "Save the train" website at

Re: Melksham Station / train service to feature in Radio 4 program - 77/202
Written by Nick Field on Thursday, 22nd December 2005

Hi Graham

Do you know if this feature went out?  I missed it live on the radio but the BBC website has a listen again feature where I went through Monday and Tuesdays you and yours programs but didnt hear anything about it?


Re: Melksham Station / train service to feature in Radio 4 program - 77/204
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Friday, 23rd December 2005

I understand that they rejigged the schedule .... they're still planning to use it, but now on - I believe - 5th January.  May be a day or two either way.    I'll actually be travelling on 5th so won't get a chance to hear it.  Thank goodness for archives!

Re: Melksham Station / train service to feature in Radio 4 program - 77/231
Written by Nick Field on Friday, 6th January 2006

It looks like it was broadcast today.  If like me you were at work and didnt catch it you can listen again here:

Re: Melksham Station / train service to feature in Radio 4 program - 77/236
Written by Graz on Saturday, 7th January 2006

Just listened to this now. Derek Twigg avoided virtually every question despite repeated attempts from the presenter -  and he seems to only care about Pitsea and the West coast main line. He ignored all the facts about Melksham and came up with a bunch of pathetic excuses instead.

"The railways are improving...more investment...more trains..." Yeah, maybe, but only if you live in the same town as Mr. Twigg!

Re: Melksham Station / train service to feature in Radio 4 program - 77/238
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 7th January 2006

Random thoughts:

Pitsea is part of the Billericay parliamentary constituency ... which is always one of the first marginals to declare at general elections and usually goes the way of the balance of power - it's a real "bellweather".

Hough Green station in Derek Twigg's own constiuency enjoys a much better train service that Melksham, yet has only about a third of the ticket sales per train calling. Open return fare per mile to Liverpool is 19p / mile, which is not very different to the price per mile we pay from Melksham to Swindon under Wessex Trains, but far lower than the 50p per mile that First charge on the Swindon to London service.

The "game" has moved on. Government decisions taken and the thing has been put into the hands of the First group. The best shot at having a viable train service to Melksham beyond this coming December is to convince them that they can make a worthwhile profit on the service.

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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