Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
09:18 Service to Swindon - 8012/12980
Written by Sion Bretton on Saturday, 18th April 2009

I travelled on this service this morning.

On time and was 150

10 passagners got on and 1 off

There were already 10 passangers on the service & at Chippenham 10 passagners got off at Chippenham. Only 1 from Melksham me.

This does show people want to travel from Westbury or Trowbridge to visit Chippenham without going via Bath Spa. 

Re: 09:18 Service to Swindon - 8012/12981
Written by Lee on Saturday, 18th April 2009

And if 10 passengers got on Melksham, and only 1 Melksham passenger got off at Chippenham, it also shows that the Melksham folks want to travel to Swindon if the service timings allow it.

Re: 09:18 Service to Swindon - 8012/12982
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 19th April 2009

[quote author=Lee link=topic=8012.msg12981#msg12981 date=1240058757]
And if 10 passengers got on Melksham, and only 1 Melksham passenger got off at Chippenham, it also shows that the Melksham folks want to travel to Swindon if the service timings allow it.

The amazing thing is just how many people want to travel up from West Wiltshire to Chippenham / Swindon ... and just how many of them would use a service which was just one-train-doing-round-trips more frequent.

Just this morning, I was buying papers at the garage (garage -> petrol -> car bias, you would think) and one of the assistants came oer and asked me how we were getting on.  His sister works in Swindon, and occasionally uses the train ... "but the day is so long when she does that she often has to drive" - he cited an arrival at 07:50 and a departure at 18:45 as simply too long a time at destination for a working day, ... so there's yet another example of someone who would be using the train - and very likely one of the existing trains - if there was a true peak service up in the morning and a true peak service down in the evening.

In other words, adding trains would boost passengers on existing trains too, and quite dramatically.  How dramatically?  Well - the no. of journeys per head of population in the catchment for Melksham station is currently under 2, based on ticket sales figures, and for the other West Wiltshire towns is in the 20 to 50 range.  Taking a very modest figure of 10, you get 220,000 journeys per annum which spread across 3800 trains per annum calling gives you 50 on/off the average train.  And with a class "153" train on the line, and the other traffic which would grow in a similar way, you're looking at - can you believe this - overcrowding issues in a couple of years!

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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