Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
First Group has won - 87/179
Written by Nick Field on Tuesday, 13th December 2005

According to a report on BBC Radio Wiltshire this morning.

Re: First Group has won - 87/180
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 13th December 2005

I've got a whole stack of links / references already and will be updating the web site overnight ...

Many services under threat (the Sleeper, Bicester, Newquay) get a reprive / positive mention but I've searched on "Melksham" and found nothing.  I've just sent an email asking for clarification for the web site;  my fingers are crossed but I don't see any positive signs. I hope I'm wrong and I'll be very happy to be wrong!

Re: First Group has won - 87/181
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 14th December 2005

A reliable but indirect source tells me "as per invitation to tender".  In other words ... although all the other services that the First Group shouted about in there press release yesterday were saved / improved, the unmentioned Melksham looks like it's to face a major cut.  I hope I'm wrong.

Re: First Group has won - 87/182
Written by Nick Field on Wednesday, 14th December 2005

I hope your wrong too Graham.

Re: First Group has won - 87/183
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 14th December 2005

There's a series of timetabling meetings that take place every FEBRUARY to decide on the sharing out of track space as from the following December - so by that time the First Group need to know what they're asking for.

I wrote to First's customer service yesterday and had a positive but fuzzy answer (posted elsewhere here). It did promise to pass on my comments / questions to the "Relevant Managers".

I'm writing today to the Managing Director of First Great Western (Alison Forster) asking her about their plans, and offering to work with them in things like publicity to help encourage the traffic.

I'm also writing to Roger Newman.  He's the representative for customers on the former Wesses Trains lines in the area on First's consumer panel, so he could turn out to be quite an important player.  I'm asking him for news, and to ensure that the powers that be in the First operation are aware of situation / details of our line before it's too late.

The addresses I have if you want to make your own inputs are:

Alison Forster
Managing Director 
First Great Western
MH42, Milford House
1, Milford Street Swindon

Roger Newman
36 Bund Land
Wilts BA14 9PJ

I don't have an email address for Ms Forster, and I'm sure Mr Newman won't mind me telling you that he prefers to hear from people by post rather than email.

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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