Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
New ticket sales figures - 7971/12892
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Friday, 13th March 2009

Stations on the TransWilts, Footfall 2006/7 and 2007/8
(New figures released by DfT yesterday)

Mileages are from previous station.  % is % change over year

SWI - Swindon - 2652350 / 2900287 p.p.a. 109%
CPM - Chippenham - 1425258 / 1498039 p.p.a. 105% - 16 mls
MKM - Melksham - 22001 / 38081 p.p.a. 173% - 6 mls away
TRO - Trowbridge - 587218 / 577444 p.p.a. 98% - 6 mls away
WSB - Westbury (Wilts) - 462988 / 479352 p.p.a. 103% - 4 mls away
DMH - Dilton Marsh - 15359 / 10063 p.p.a. 65% - 2 mls away
WMN - Warminster - 311170 / 312824 p.p.a. 100% - 4 mls away
SAL - Salisbury - 1806998 / 1856932 p.p.a. 102% - 19 mls away
DEN - Dean - 12103 / 11487 p.p.a. 94% - 8 mls away
DBG - Mottisfont & Dunbridge - 14028 / 12941 p.p.a. 92% - 4 mls away
ROM - Romsey - 371186 / 398418 p.p.a. 107% - 4 mls away
SOU - Southampton Central - 5782880 / 6120782 p.p.a. 105% - 7 mls away

Other Wiltshire Stations

TIS - Tisbury - 208785 / 211128 p.p.a. 101%
PEW - Pewsey - 150911 / 169733 p.p.a. 112%
BDW - Bedwyn - 77048 / 81160 p.p.a. 105%
BOA - Bradford-on-Avon - 259775 / 290527 p.p.a. 111%
AVF - Avoncliff - 13888 / 15256 p.p.a. 109%

Re: New ticket sales figures - 7971/12893
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Friday, 13th March 2009

I have (quite reasonably) been asked if those figures for Melksham and the traffic figures are real ....

I'm sure that Melksham ticket sales are a 'quirk' ... it would be an average of 25 people getting on or off every single train.  More realistic figure is between 4 and 10 people per train - between 6000 and 14000 real arrivals /  departures, giving "Melksham Special" ticket sales elsewhere a figure of 24,000 to 32,000. "Melksham specials" are tickets which were sold for shorter journeys that did not start / end at Melksham, as for a while the fare from Melksham to Bristol was lower than the fare from (for example) Bradford-on-Avon to Bristol

Here is my surmise of what the ticket sales (and real revenue forecast) would be with a service of 10 trains per day:

Up the service to 10 trains a day, and you'll get 15 to 20 people per train in the first full year after 3 months to 'settle' i.e. the 2010/11 year - and that would be usage figures (ticket sales)  of 54,000 to 72,000 which we know accounts for about a quarter of the traffic carried on the line - so single journey count would be around a quarter of a million, at 3 pounds per journey gives an income of 3/4 million - but it would stand a 4 pound fare, giving a 1 million income which would make money for the operator.

That's a summary - I have not shown my workings or assumptions, but I'm reasonably confident in the figures which err very much on the convervative side when you look at things like the size of the catchment.  I would be very happy to go through the figures in details with any of the candidates for the forthcoming Wiltshire elections ... or First, DfT or NR come to that, but I suspect they're already familiar with them.

P.S. New support pledge - - please sign up if you support an improived service  ;)

Re: New ticket sales figures - 7971/12899
Written by Lee on Friday, 13th March 2009

Talking of quirks, have a look at the following station usage figures for April 2007-April 2008 (2006-2007 figures in brackets):

Severn Beach - 54034 (38202)
St Andrews Road - 3183 (5518)
Avonmouth - 44468 (47834)
Shirehampton - 30893 (38493)
Sea Mills - 33222 (40786)
Clifton Down - 204397 (180656)
Redland - 61394 (66852)
Montpelier - 60629 (76929)
Stapleton Road - 72182 (98446)
Lawrence Hill - 55730 (68371)

Some sharp declines there, with a couple of notable rises.

However, one needs to remember that a zonal fare system was introduced on the Severn Beach Line in May 2007....

Re: New ticket sales figures - 7971/12929
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 29th March 2009

Full Comparison with 2007/8 figures added is now available at:

It comes up by default showing Wiltshire stations, but if you register / log in with the site it's on, you can see the data for anywher in Great Britain.

Ticket sales in 2007/2008 for Melksham were higher than ticket sales for Bleanau Ffestiniog - now there's a surprise.  BF is the terminus station at the end of a line that enjoys many more services ... but then of course it's in Wales, where the local government seems to believe if providing a service at a much more appropriate level!

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

This site is hosted by Well House Consultants Ltd. (
Contact Information

Further Information:
 Current Summary
 Daily update
 User forum
 Service now
 Service future
 Future Analysis
 Recent Statistics
 Recent letters
 Letter to DfT
 Save the train
 Support us
 Other Maps
 Station facilities
 Station approach
 Trains diverted
 About Melksham
 Site Map
 About this site