Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
The view from the DfT - 1604/4258
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 11th March 2007

I spoke with Peter West of the Department for Transport, at length, on Thursday

Re: The view from the DfT - 1604/4293
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 13th March 2007

[quote author=Graham Ellis link=topic=1604.msg4258#msg4258 date=1173636372]The use of the Stroud Valley 'set' was discussed, and the problem that the peak service in to Swindon from West Wilts and Somerset is needed at the same time as that service and most others.

Re: The view from the DfT - 1604/4294
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 13th March 2007

Want some off - peak services to go with your improved peak service? Your wish is my command.

0535 Weymouth - Filton Abbey Wood 0820.

0825 Filton Abbey Wood - Westbury 0920 , calling at Bristol Temple Meads arrive 0832 , depart 0834 , Keynsham 0841 , Oldfield Park 0848 , Bath Spa 0852 , Freshford 0901 , Avoncliff 0904 , Bradford - on - Avon 0907 , Trowbridge 0913 & Westbury 0920.

1035 Westbury - Swindon 1120 , calling at Trowbridge 1041 , Melksham 1050 , Chippenham 1100 & Swindon 1120.

1135 Swindon - Westbury 1217 , calling at Chippenham 1151 , Melksham 1201 , Trowbridge 1210 & Westbury 1217.

1235 Westbury - Swindon 1320 , calling at Trowbridge 1241 , Melksham 1250 , Chippenham 1300 & Swindon 1320.

1335 Swindon - Westbury 1417 , calling at Chippenham 1351 , Melksham 1401 , Trowbridge 1410 & Westbury 1417.

1455 Westbury - Filton Abbey Wood 1540.

Note to Wiltshire County Council - According to Andrew Griffiths , forking out for the ancillary costs of 4 off - peak Trans - Wilts services for a 3 - year trial period is likely to work out a whole lot cheaper than the full cost of a unit , especially as this one appears to be "spare."

Note to Peter West - Including the above services in the franchise specification will cost the DfT absolutely nothing , and ensure efficient utilisation of rolling stock. You also get an extra morning peak Bristol - Bath service thrown in. What a bargain!

Note to potential Melksham train users - A shopping trip to Swindon will be possible using the above services (catch the 1748 return.) Frome passengers could do the same by changing at Westbury from the 1010 or 1210 (outward) or onto the 1839 (return.)

Re: The view from the DfT - 1604/4295
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 13th March 2007

Want to include some 234 journeys to please the bus / rail integrationists? No problemo.

Melksham 0721 - Chippenham 0738.

Melksham 0924 - Chippenham 0951.

Chippenham 1515 - Melksham 1544.

Chippenham 1635 - Melksham 1702.

Chippenham 1735 - Melksham 1802.

Chippenham 1834 - Melksham 1856.

Chippenham 1924 - Melksham 1946.

Chippenham 2044 - Melksham 2106.

Chippenham 2210 - Melksham 2232.

Note to Frome commuters - You may wish to catch the 58 bus at 0712 (arrives Westbury at 0754) to connect with the 0800 Westbury - Cheltenham Spa service , as there doesnt appear to be a train scheduled. This could also come in handy for Dilton Marsh passengers , should their train service be decimated from December 2007.

Further note to Wiltshire County Council / First Group - Why not fix the information screens at Chippenham railway station and place timetable information on the forecourt bus stops? According to a fairly reliable source , this wouldnt cost much at all , and letting people know that the above services actually exist could increase patronage no end!

Final note to WCC , DfT and FGW - I make that a fully integrated spread of rail / bus services across the day , at no extra unit cost , thus truly giving "best value" to national & local taxpayers and , dare I say it , shareholders as well.

If I can do it , then why the hell cant you?

P.S How come no-one from the FGW , DfT or Network Rail specification / timetable planning departments spotted that the easiest way to give Melksham a viable peak - time train service was simply to swap round the alternate hours on which the "Inter - City" & "Non Inter - City" trains ran on the Stroud Valley line?

It is a poser , isnt it?

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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