|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Looking and learning from Frome - 8096/13115
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 15th March 2010
Frome is a town that's closely comparable to Melksham - similar in size, and in many ways a "West Wilts" group town even though it is in Somerset. So from time to time I'll make the comparisions. Being short of pictures, I went there yesterday and here's the 15:21 Bristol train, with the doors just opening
That's the second of just 4 northbound trains on Sunday; there are only three southbound, and it's notable just how many people were gathered at the station to get on. (I arrived on the train going the other way - quite a lot of folks got off that too).
Also notable about Frome station ... It's at the back of a business area (just like Melksham), but it's very smart and obvious there. Station facilities include a real time departure system, station announcements, a telephone, a loo and booking office (but they were closed yesterday), charged car parking via Ring and Go, plenty of information boards including ones telling you about the town and where to get the bus from.
Frome is a good comparison in other ways too ... service levels were (very roughly indeed) comparable in 2005 / 2006 - but theirs has been gently increased since including a through London service, whereas the TransWilts has been slashed. Perhaps the usage we see in this picture might be what we would have seen on what is still a winter Sunday afternoon in Melksham if we had any trains - or perhaps some of the traffic is also due to the pride taken in the station by the Community Rail Partnership that includes it (and others).
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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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