Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Update letter (email) to all posting members, 29th March 2009 - 7986/12928
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 29th March 2009

[color=Purple]The following text / update has been emailed to all registered members who have posted on this forum.[/color]  It is highly unusual for us to send out such a 'round robin' email - I think this is the first for a year to our membership - but the case for our campaign is now at a point where a general update was sensible.

To: Posting members of the "Save the Train" Forum

This year we have a golden opportunity for the return of an
appropriate train service on the "TransWilts" line - enhancing
the current two trains a day (pre-dawn and evening) that link
the five major population centres of Wiltshire by adding peak hour
and daytime services.  With the proposed service, commuting from
Frome, Warminster, Westbury, Trowbridge and Melksham to Swindon by
public transport would become practical, and journey times like
Chippenham to Trowbridge and to Salisbury would be slashed.

Two weeks ago, we opened a pledge campaign, asking for people to
sign on to our web site and say "yes, that is a good idea". And in
two weeks, over 200 people have done so.  You can add your name (please
have a look at the case again, and if you agree with it add your name): (details) (sign up)

With Unitary Council elections for Wiltshire in June, now is an
excellent time for us to remind our local politicians that the case
has been made.  The practicality and price of the service, the
availability of train and crew, the economic case have all been looked
at, and we at "Save the Train", and other local groups are talking at
the highest level with the County Council, First Great Western and
the Department for Transport - we all have a common view that we want
to get this sorted.  And there is movement:

* The Department for Transport have a new policy whereby they take over
the funding of the service after an initial trial period, rather than
leaving it as a locally funded risk.

* First Great Western confirm that they will run the service if told to,
and indeed they put a lot of work in last year to having the detail in

* And reports commissioned by the County Council (and published after
we launched our pledge campaign) confirm to them the need tofacilitate
an appropriate service.  I have included the URL of this report, and
extracts, at the end of this email.

Please do visit the web site and pledge your support - things are
moving fast and YOU could make a real difference.  If you have
already signed - THANK YOU.  I am writing this email to all posting
members of the forum, and there may be a little duplication if you
have come across the new pledge elsewhere; if that is the case, sorry
to trouble you again. Do let me know (reply to this email) if you
would like your account closed, or if you have any questions.


Graham Ellis
on behalf of
404, The Spa, Melksham, Wilts, SN12 6QL -
01225 708225 (phone)  email -

--------- Quote from George Bright ----------------------

An important issue about sustainable and accessible transport
was made by a number of businesses and their representatives.
The basic point was made by a very successful engineering business:

'On a second transport point, rail transport does provide
regeneration and growth. Can we put the north south Wiltshire
rail link on the agenda? At the moment stations such as Melksham
are poorly served. Cannot RDA and others combine to seek proposals
for an enhanced service?'

There is a campaign group seeking to achieve much better rail
services through the 'TransWilts' rail corridor linking Swindon,
Chippenham, the West Wiltshire towns and Salisbury. Their case
has been strengthened by recent work published by the Department
for Transport on 11th March 2009 'Delivering a Sustainable Transport
System: City and Regional Networks Data Book' which provides a range
of strategic assessments that support the case. The level of
out-commuting in Wiltshire has been referred to in the economic
analysis. The pressures on the A350 and A303 main road routes are
well known. The case for better more sustainable transport for
Wiltshire’s businesses and people is a good one and should continue
to be pressed upon First Great Western and other relevant parties.

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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