Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
4 out of 4 trains running on Tuesday 2nd January - 967/2697
Written by streety7 on Tuesday, 2nd January 2007

This is a good start, and although they were not all on time, for January we currently have a 100% reliability rate... for now.
I see the 0717 was on time from Melksham, however was marked as No Report on the live departure boards system. I think they have done something to Melksham station, because before the new timetable it worked fine and actually reported on trains...

The 0717 service this morning was formed of quite an old Class 143 Railbus. How do I know? I caught it when it was formed as the 0946 from Cheltenham - Swindon, and they must be really desperate for rolling stock... the train hardly gathered much speed and one of the doors did not open properly - that's good in case of an emergency, a door which doesn't open. Luckily though, it actually made it to Gloucester with time to reverse.

Also just pulling in to Gloucester saw part of the 1002 arrival at Cheltenham (just leaving Gloucester) from London Paddington which was formed of a Class 180 Adelante train - I thought FGW weren't operating those trains on the Cheltenham-London route anymore because of complaints about onboard engine noise, I thought they were solely running them on London-Oxford-Hereford services?  ???

Re: 4 out of 4 trains running on Tuesday 2nd January - 967/2699
Written by Sion Bretton on Tuesday, 2nd January 2007

Yes 7.17 was on time I got on the train at Melksham,  saw Ruth on the train. The 18.58 From Chippenham was 3 minutes late,  3 got on at Chippenham and there was already two on the train, so when it left Melksham there were 5 poeple left on the train.

Re: 4 out of 4 trains running on Tuesday 2nd January - 967/2700
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 3rd January 2007

Thanks, Sion.  I understand that there were around 15 people on the 07:17 with just 2 joining at Melksham.

As we feared, the fearsomely early and late timings that First chose for the service mean they're providing trains only at times when there's little customer call for them.  And - First can't blame the DfT who HAVE given them the freedom to have the morning train arrive in Swindon as late as 08:30, and for the return service to set off as early as 17:30.    The current timetable is designed for the operational convenience of First rather than for their customers for whom they seem to be showing scant regard.

Andrew Griffiths told me before the changes that they would be doing their best to market and encourage use of the service, but I have yet to see any practical steps in this direction.  Has anyone else seen anything?

Re: 4 out of 4 trains running on Tuesday 2nd January - 967/2703
Written by Sion Bretton on Wednesday, 3rd January 2007

Wekk poster at melksham station shows services with connections onto London Paddington.  ;D

Re: 4 out of 4 trains running on Tuesday 2nd January - 967/2705
Written by Nick Field on Wednesday, 3rd January 2007

[quote author=Graham Ellis link=topic=967.msg2700#msg2700 date=1167805855]
Has anyone else seen anything?

Nothing at all.  Nothing at Swindon or Chippenham, nor nothing on FGW's website  >:(

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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