Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Frome to Radstock - 1736/4480
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 25th March 2007

The Parkman report of 2000 - suggesting an hourly service from South Marston or Swindon via Trowbridge and Westbury - included Frome and Radstock in some of its proposals

I was down in that corner of Somerset yesterday at Kilmersdon and Mells and found a single track still in place.

Re: Frome to Radstock - 1736/4490
Written by Nick Field on Sunday, 25th March 2007

Link to North Somerset Railway website - details about the route which they hopes to re open

Re: Frome to Radstock - 1736/4500
Written by Lee on Monday, 26th March 2007

According to a recent FOI answer from Wiltshire County Council , a container freight train service was nearly set up to run out of Radstock in the early part of the decade , but failed because the DfT wouldnt come up with the required grant.

Re: Frome to Radstock - 1736/4537
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 28th March 2007

I think I prefer freight and regular passenger to a heritage line on something that's primarily going to be providing a real service from "a" to "b", and that's what this line could do.  Perhaps I'm being irrational and Heritage / holiday and leaisure trips could work in well with a more every-day type service, but I can't think of too many instances where the case is proven.    Fort William to Mallaig, perhaps? (You can tell I'm just back from Scotland!)

Re: Frome to Radstock - 1736/4543
Written by tramway on Wednesday, 28th March 2007

Two immeadiately spring to mind.

The Ffestiniog appears on timetables as a bookable timetable option, and a primary example would be the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch.

The Romney especially wouldn't exist if it didn't provide transport for regular commuters.

Isle of Wight (another) has just sprung to mind, numerous cases could be made for independant operation.

West Somerset another, and it won't be long before the Swanage Railway will run regular services to Wareham, connecting with the main line.

Just waiting to be shot down on this one.

Re: Frome to Radstock - 1736/4551
Written by Lee on Thursday, 29th March 2007

Some links for your interest.

Re: Frome to Radstock - 1736/4552
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 29th March 2007

It things like

that worry the heck out of me about trying to provide a practical, connected service from a heritage railway.  Swanage has always struck me as an excellent case for providing through journey possibilites (I used it for the purpose, damn it, before its 1972 closure) but the five year delay imposed (so far) by Network Rail makes a laughing stock of the whole through journey concept.

Re: Frome to Radstock - 1736/4566
Written by Lee on Friday, 30th March 2007

Another cause for concern is the fact that Swanage Railway's plans for a practical , connected service were originally approved for RPP funding but , as with Corsham , this was later withdrawn as a result of misguided SRA policy.

I see little sign of the required policy reversal happening any time soon.

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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