Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
GWRUS submission - Melksham railway Development Group - 8049/13037
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

Many thanks to the Melksham Railway Development Group [url][/url] for submitting a good repsonse to the GWRUS in support of the TransWilts case - copy here with their permission:


The GW RUS document invites comments on this document, and we welcome the chance to do so.

This response is on behalf of the Melksham Railway Development Group (MRDG) which promotes improvements to the infrastructure and services on the line between Chippenham and Trowbridge, with a view to reinstate a viable rail service at Melksham. Our comments therefore reflect issues raised in and

            Chippenham bay

We certainly welcome any of the potential  hourly service options through Melksham (Swindon/ Westbury, Chippenham/Salisbury or Chippenham/Westbury). The two last options, combined with a potential Bristol to Chippenham local service, would call for a bay at Chippenham.

We suggest that greater value could be achieved if the additional bay were implemented as a passenger loop. This would also improve reliability on both the Swindon to Bath route, (if freight capacity were provided) and also the potential Swindon - Westbury option. The Chippenham to Trowbridge corridor makes most sense if Swindon were the termination point rather than Chippenham.

Put simply, we support a bay at Chippenham but believe a long loop may offer additional benefits

        Signalling between Thingly Junction and Bradford

We believe consideration should be given, whilst resignalling for other reasons (such as mainline electrification), for changes to allow more than 1 train to be in the Thingley to Bradford section when travelling in the same direction. With a section time of 20 minutes, the single train constraint limits capacity, including for freight, at 3 tph  which may be restrictive in the future.

        Reinstatement of the Bradford North Curve

The link to the North at Bradford was removed in the 80s. Reinstatement would provide a more effective standby route for FGW trains bypassing Box tunnel, and at the same time allow options of Bristol to Chippenham via Melksham. Has this been considered?

John Hamley, PhD
Melksham Railway Development Group[/quote]

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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