Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
The Specification On Which Tenders Were Invited - 2216/5146
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 8th May 2007

On several occasions when I have corresponded with FGW , I have been given the following response :

"That was the specification that we bid against."

The link below contains the specification on which tenders were invited for the Greater Western Rail Franchise.

I have noticed something very interesting (bear in mind that the number of calls mentioned are required to be made in BOTH directions) :

"Dilton Marsh

(a) On Mondays to Fridays between 0600 and 2359, 10 services shall call at a maximum interval of three hours.

(b) On Saturdays between 0600 and 2359, 10 services shall call at a maximum interval of three hours.

(c) On Sundays, four services shall call."

Quote from Peter West (DfT) :

"The minimum contractual level of train service is set out in the FGW Service Level Commitment 2 ('SLC2'), which forms part of the FGW franchise agreement.

Re: The Specification On Which Tenders Were Invited - 2216/5153
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 9th May 2007

The cynic might suggest that there's a war of attrition going on ... where certain services are cut back as far as people will accept year on year, with a planned spiral that will result in a dramatic loss of traffic leading to further cuts being acceptable.  Has anyone made any statements to you, Lee, aboout the long term future of Dilton Marsh where - if you stand on the platform - you can see huge new housing developments being built just across the fields ... getting ever closer to the station.

Re: The Specification On Which Tenders Were Invited - 2216/5308
Written by Lee on Friday, 18th May 2007

A view from Alison Forster :

Thank you for your e-mail and your patience while waiting for my response. The specifications posted on the DfT website were the minimum service specifications for the Greater Western Franchise, showing the services that we had to run. We made over 200 changes to this specification to run further services but there were more changes that we were not able to make for both financial and practical reasons.

We recognise that there are more changes that customers would like to see and we will continue to lobby for those changes where we feel that they are appropriate. I appreciate you taking the time to contact me and I hope that this helps to clarify matters.

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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