Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
The Transwilts Canal / Rail / Road corridor - 8062/13062
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 29th December 2009

The other day, I was up at Wootton Bassett and happened upon the old Wilts and Berks Canal.  Now ... I'm very familiar with how various modes of transport have followed the same natural contours over the years, but this really brought it home to me more than ever before what a natural flow we have from the Thames Valley, via Swindon, Wootton Bassett, Chippenham and Melksham to the Trowbridge area.

Think about it ... the Wilts and Berks Canal

Then one of Brunel's earliest railways - in fact the first rails to Westbury were the ones from Thingley Junction, to become part of the main line from Paddington to Weymouth

and finally the M4 / A350 corridor, into which so much effort promotion and improvement effort has gone, yet it still jams ...

(Don't you just love the way the houses have been built so close to the trunk road!)

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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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