|Comment on December timetables
As this is the "daily update", I'm taking the opportunity to post a press review I've just written about the upcominng timtable and changes. (I was aske about timetables - Melksham specific, then to add any extra more general comments)
Trains / Melksham:
Weekday trains to and from Melksham are unchanged. They remain at the two services per day (round trips leaving Swindon at 06:19 and 18:45 to Westbury and back), so they're still timed at First's operational convenience in what they call "Marginal time" using the train that's borrowed off the Stroud Valley line when it's not wanted there. "Very disappointing indeed" if you would like a quote.
A very great deal of work was undertaken by First Great Western, Wiltshire County Council, and others and draft timetables written in May showed an extra 3 trains a day each way, from Salisbury to Swindon via Westbury, Trowbridge and Melksham at 07:40, 10:30 and 13:30. These service proposals have just been revealed in detail under a freedom of information disclosure, but the disclosure did not extend to giving us the detail as to why the this major improvement was withdrawn before the timetable was finalised.
There is one good piece of news. There's going to be the return of a southbound Sunday service, calling at Melksham in the early evening. This means that residents of Melksham can get back to the town after spending the weekend away by public transport, without having to do a bus dogleg via Bath. It also means that people working for the week in Melksham can get here by train on the Sunday evening and check into their hotel or B&B. Although one extra train a week is a tiny improvement, it is very significant in that First Great Western are providing it without financial subsidy, and over and above the Government's minimum specification level. Good news indeed as it shows a first step towards a more appropriate service.
Other trains: [West Wilts]
The services between Bristol and Westbury have been re-cast to provide a more regular service; until December, the 2 trains per hour arriving at Westbury from Bristol have been within a few minutes of each other, whereas from December they will be more evenly spaced. Overall, a sensible change but like any timetable change it may give rise to specific individual hardships. Alternate trains now head noth from Bristol to Cheltenham and Great Malvern, rather than all carrying on to Newport and Cardiff.
Services to Dilton Marsh are reduced very slightly - that's a major victory as at one point it looked at one point as if the service could be halved. With major house building going in close by Dilton Marsh station, it is sensible for all the services there to be retained.
Although not strictly a timetable issue, First Great Western are loosing 12 of the 2 coach trains of the type used on the Portsmouth to Cardiff expresses in December (they're being transferred North) and they are being replaced by 30 year old Pacers, the first two of which have arrived in the area out of storage in Manchester. The Pacers cannot be used south of Warminster, but may appear much more often in the future on services that travel northwards from West Wilts. Further stock changes will occur in the new year, when the 6 year old Adelante trains used on some services from Westbury to Exeter and London are phased out, to be replaced by 30 year old "125"s. That's not totally bad - the 125 units are dearly loved and have increased capacity, whereas the Pacers are almost universally unliked.
We're running a forum that covers train services across the First Great Western area - "by a customer, for customers" at
where we've had over 2500 messages posted in the last 6 months.
More specifically for the "TransWilts" via Melksham, the "Save the Train" forum at
now has over 5000 messages posted since it started.
New members very welcome on either forum.
FINALLY ,... There's a public meeting on Tuesday 9th October, at 7 p.m. at the Railway inn, Westbury, organised by the West Wilts Rail User group. Andrew Griffiths, First Great Western's Regional Manager for the area, will be talking on "First Great Western - Progress and Future" and, we are told, there will be plenty of time for questions.
Written 2007-10-03 07:45:26
Available entries ...
Welcome to News and Views
Welcome to News and Views
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Looking slightly wider
Don't let this become history!
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Encouraging traffic not just warm words
Official (Government) view ... and I agree
Don't believe everything you hear
Old pictures. Not to be repeated event
Great meeting but just a start.
35% Growth in one year - Melksham ticket statistics
Swindon to Trowbridge
Regularity, Reliability, Realistic connections
Didn't you read page 52 of web document?
An easy timetable - Melksham to Chippenham and Swindon
Would this government close a station completely?
Quotes from Government
Tuesday, 18th October - Kiss and Ride day
Six NEW factors why the TransWilts train that serves Melksham should be enhanced and not cut
And more train users ...
Try the train on 18th October
Tracking codes for TransWilts stations
New stats prove it - the service IS used
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Ready for Tuesday
Kiss and Ride report
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A disappointing letter
Some scenes at Melksham Station
Monday morning, Melksham Station
Busy train at Melksham
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What does it cost to run a train?
Timetable - Melksham to Reading and London
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From the rumour mill
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New year, 2006
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The Meeting Season
Reply from MD of First Great Western
Wilts County Council could save the Melksham / Transwilts train
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Railway statistics and Melksham comparisons - how do we stand?
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Repeat - PLEASE write in with your aspirations
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Current status ...
Keep watching - coming to the boil!
From my postbag ...
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Waiting, with baited breath
Meeting with a local MP
Today or tomorrow
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On the 05:52 this morning
Background and opinion
Draft timetables (continued)
Three and a half answers out of 4
A week is a long time
Roger Jones answers 5 months later!
Safer current trains - the 06:56, 07:45 and 18:09
INPUTS NEEDED by 8th March
Meetings and Consultation Responses
A whole pile of responses
Ploughing back OUR money, not theirs.
New pages and information
On supporting other campaigns ...
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The Waiting Game
Real time train monitoring
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UPDATE - new timetables
An update - BAD, BAD news for Melksham ...
First - transforming travel
Southampton to Westbury RESTORED
Friday, 21st, Trowbridge
Meeting, Friday 21st
Celebrating a closure
What SWPTUF says
Meeting, 21st - notes
Parliamentary Debate, 25th April
First back down or buses too.
Diary Date - 12th May
RailFuture meeting today
RailFuture meeting - some gems
First way to get rid of customers?
Friday meeting - invite and details
It gets worse
Every so often, stop and look
Bus service costs 25 pounds per passenger to run?
Carrying fresh air around?
Put yourself in their shoes
Lies, damned lies and statistics
Our battle ....
... is part of a planned war
Political pressure - press release
How to catch the 18:48 from Chippenham - the DfT suggests
Internet connection issues
Selling off any possibility of improvement
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Important but not refreshing meeting
Welcome for Michael Ancram and Chris Grayling
Visit by Chris Grayling and Michael Ancram
Friday, 7th July - Melksham
Rail future - the First Alternative
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In praise of estate agents
Press Release - Open Access operator negotiations
Open Access case strengthened
A desire for honesty
Flowers for Melksham. Flowers at Melksham.
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A year on - an empty bank holiday
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If its working well, change it so it doesnt.
20% service cut = 40% traffic cut?
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Consultant's reports recommended a modest INCREASE
From Ystrad Mynach
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Is this fare?
Returning from their UK course
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The traveller, not the train!
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Reply to Petition
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Gordon Dodge, Rest in Peace
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News Roundup - a LOT is happening
New faces - mayors and chairs.
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A Comparison - travel in the USA by train
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And the week ends with two more cancellations!
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A pile of 160 train tickets for tomorrow
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Preserved Railways - a look forward
Spring 2009 Campaign update
Letter to DfT
Save the train
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