Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
DfT Monitoring Of Short-Formed Services - 8152/13206
Written by Lee on Thursday, 27th May 2010

A very interesting FOI request regarding how the DfT monitors short-formed train services:

Re: DfT Monitoring Of Short-Formed Services - 8152/13208
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Friday, 28th May 2010

It's very interesting to read that monitoring of short formed trains for franchise purposes has been only based on around 10% of (predetermined) services.  It therefore would have allowed the operator to ensure that any reductions would be on services which would not be monitoried for the purposes of sanctions against them, allowing quite  a serious amount of underprovision / underperformance.

Having said that, the statements that monitoring are of key services at peak times into major urban centres does at least point to some of the more critical services being monitored, and there is probably some sense and practicallity in that.

The FOI relates to Northern Rail.

In our own area, I note that the 17:02 Worcester to Southampton has been reduced from 2 to 1 carriage (at least part of the way) for the last two evenings, and (at present, because of naff round journey possibilities) there's no huge harm in that on the Swindon to Westbury leg at least.  Yesterday, the 16:55 Abbey Wood to Westbury was also just a single carriage, and I suspect that might have had rather more serious consequences.

Where we're looking at routine, regular short forms (how many of the 8 diagrams on Cardiff - Portmouth will be short TODAY?) there is concern, but I am not - at current traffic levels - going to grumble at the shortening of a TransWilts service from time to time, even quite often.  Unless it is shortened to zero carriages, which is one step too far!

Re: DfT Monitoring Of Short-Formed Services - 8152/13256
Written by Lee on Thursday, 24th June 2010

An interesting related FOI request -

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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