Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
From May or December 2007 - every 2 hours? - 808/2346
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 12th December 2006

A chink of light - I notice that the Bath Chronicle is talking about the Minister realisong that there's a problem in the area, and Melksham specifically mentioned. Add to that the fact that we know it was brought up with the minister last week, and that - I understand - the timetablers at First are looking at what they could do with an extra train on the TransWilts.

Big question - Swindon to Salisbury every 3 hours, or Swindon to Westbury every 2?  Personally, I feel that a 2-hourly service would generate much more traffic that a 3-hourly, and that the Westbury - Salisbury section might, unless carefully planned, simply duplicate an existing train a few minutes earlier / later.  A Westbury change crossing the county is much easier than a Bath dogleg and change.

So I'm sticking my neck out and suggesting 05:45 and every 2 hours to 11:45, then 14:45 and every 2 hours to 21:45 off Westbury, returning an hour later off Swindon.

Re: From May or December 2007 - every 2 hours? - 808/2351
Written by Nick Field on Tuesday, 12th December 2006

A tricky one.  Most of my Trans Wilts journeys are Chippenham to Salisbury so I could selfishly say lets have the three hour option so I dont have to change.  I would much rather change at Westbury than Bath though, so I wouldnt mind if the timings were such that I would have to wait 10 to 15 minutes at Westbury.  I think we need to look at the overall picture and take the option that would generate the highest loadings and serve the greatest numbers of passangers and that would probably be the 2 hour option.

Re: From May or December 2007 - every 2 hours? - 808/3257
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 20th January 2007

Nick, I'm picking this back up ... thanking you for your support for the 2 hour option which is what I and I know other have fed into the folks who have been asking me.

It's my view too that a service every 2 hours, which would have a single train active for 75% of its time, would give optimum service and reliability.  Timetables from next December are somewhat up in the air again so working out connection times at Westbury is guesswork, but an arrival there a few minutes before a Salisbury departure would be sensible.

Re: From May or December 2007 - every 2 hours? - 808/3264
Written by Graz on Saturday, 20th January 2007

I'm really not sure what I'd prefer, to be honest...

A 1tp3h  Swindon-Salisbury service does have its benefits. Direct connections between Swindon and Warminster/Salisbury, allowing for more journey oppertunities from other places, like the Stroud valley line, Didcot, etc. And another train to Salisbury would definitely be welcome as that route is currently badly served. One train every 3 hours may not be enough, though. And there may be problems further down the line causing severe delays Melksham way.

A 1tp2h Swindon-Westbury service also has benefits. It's going to reliable as it's a (relatively) short journey. And 1 train every 2 hours- which would require 1 train- would bring tremendous benefit to Melksham and interchanges and passenger numbers would increase. But it's fairly limited in its route, and may not get 'noticed' enough to maximise its full potential.

Of course, should either of these actually happen, we _must_ have better timetables and publicity at all stations along the route, and others such as Bath Spa/Bristol/Cheltenham Spa. That would be one of the core points to make the service sucessful again.

Re: From May or December 2007 - every 2 hours? - 808/3266
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 20th January 2007

Should the 1 train every 2 hours link in / on to Cheltenham, Worcester, Didcot or Oxford in the north / east and/or to Salisbury / Southampton / Yeovil / Weymouth in the South / West I would be delighted and it would be so much better for the service. BUT it might mean other recasts and might be a bridge too far.

What I would want to avoid would be a Swindon - Salisbury closely following (or being closely followed by)

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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