Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Network Rail Could Run Scottish Trains - 1947/4764
Written by Lee on Thursday, 12th April 2007

Trains and tracks could be reunited and put under public control for the first time since privatisation , under plans to make Scotland a test case for the rest of the rail industry (links below.)

Re: Network Rail Could Run Scottish Trains - 1947/4766
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 12th April 2007

Heck, I know it's off topic Lee, but I couldn't help noticing "First ScotRail currently receives two-thirds of its income from the Scottish Executive and collects the remainder in commercial operations and fares."

Seems like a bit of a contrast to the FGW area, where (over the 10 years) FGW is going to collect its entire income from commercial operations and fares - and indeed overcollect so that it can pay the Government a fee for running the services.  The difference is all the more striking because large parts of the South West are rural, just like large parts of Scotland.  Is the economy of the areas so different?

Re: Network Rail Could Run Scottish Trains - 1947/4770
Written by Lee on Thursday, 12th April 2007

The RMT welcomes the idea and both Network Rail & the DfT issue a denial as transport stocks , led by FirstGroup , fall (links below.)

"The report is "absolutely ludicrous,'' said P.J. Taylor, a spokesman for London-based Network Rail. "There have been absolutely no secret talks. We're happy with the current situation and we think the rest of the industry is as well.''

"The U.K. government has ``no plans to change the structure of the rail network,'' the Department for Transport said in an e- mailed statement. "The current arrangements have given the railway the stability to deliver real improvements for passengers.''

"For us, it's business as usual,'' said Rachael Borthwick, a spokeswoman for FirstGroup, in an interview. "We have a contract to run First ScotRail until 2011 with an option to extend after that and we've achieved an extraordinary amount since taking over.'' The company hadn't heard anything about a possible government takeover of railways until today, she said."

"Any nationwide nationalization is unlikely to impact until the middle of the next decade and is likely to happen on a phased basis, as franchises expire,'' said Andrew Fitchie, an analyst at Collins Stewart in London, in a note to investors. The "threat of nationalization'' would be likely to ``turn off any hopes of private equity interest in the sector.''

I am reminded of the following quotes from this May 2006 article by Christian Wolmar (link below.)

"One thing he could do better than Darling - and that is to be honest by putting the case for government policy on the railway in a straightforward way. Most notably, it would be good if the new minister were honest about the government

Re: Network Rail Could Run Scottish Trains - 1947/4871
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 18th April 2007

This debate has now taken a very interesting turn (links below.)

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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