Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Dean Forest Railway Criticised Over Accident - 7846/12635
Written by Lee on Thursday, 3rd July 2008

A preserved railway in the Forest of Dean has been heavily criticised after an accident last August (link below.)

A steam locomotive hit a partially-open level-crossing in Lydney and continued through to the town's station.

A volunteer for Dean Forest Railway was seriously injured when the train hit the gate as he tried to open it.

The Railway Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the train was going too fast and the crew had not taken proper account of the wet conditions.

The RAIB's report also said the locomotive crew's "lack of training and experience in controlling this type of train in these conditions" had contributed to the accident.

Also, the "failure of equipment that warned level-crossing operators that a train was approaching and the lack of any system for informing the train crew that this equipment was not working", were causal factors.

The RAIB made 10 recommendations, many of which have now been implemented by Dean Forest Railway.

These include additional training for crews, making changes to the warning system at the level-crossing and appointing a qualified person to act as health and safety director.

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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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