Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Anyone know what time the trains run this week? Anyone using them? - 8064/13065
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 30th December 2009

This week, there's no 07:17 to Swidnon ... it's 09:20.  And there's no 18:45 back ... it's 21:20.    Anyone who wants to commute is going to be in a right mess as the Monday to Friday service has been replaced by the trains that nornally run on a Saturday.  And apparently that's all right under the contract that First have with the DfT, as the full "service level committment" doesn't actually apply this week and they can run the trains cheaply rather than when they'll be used.

But I thought, before I posted an unmoderated "stinger" here, that I should check my facts .. and I went down to the station (Melksham) this afternoon to see the 14:49 to Swindon (that's the other train that runs in addition to the 09:20 on a Saturday).  No cluse on the signs as the station to tell us there was even such a train running - there's the Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday timetables implying that - bring a Wednesday - it was a Wednesday service.  There's a poster telling you that there are a few changes, and that you should phone [number given] to find out more.  Of course, there isn't actually a payphone at the station anyway. And there's anothe part of the notice where it tells you that you can collect a booklet listing the changes from a station ... but I see no sign of the booklets (or any leaflets) anywhere.

Press the "information point" button, and a red light comes on. But that's all.  No information;  it's out of order.

[color=Orange]Any yet[/color] ... [color=Teal]the train that called had - I counted - some 18 to 20 people in the single coach[/color] and I find myself wondering it it was incredibly clever scheduling by First and a lot of publicity that I had missed ... [color=Maroon]or perhaps an indication that the line is so desparately in need of trains that they'll collect passengers at whatever outlandish times they run![/color]

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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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