|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
National Express Looks To Overseas Expansion - 3105/6443
Written by Lee on Monday, 23rd July 2007
National Express boss Richard Bowker will this week signal plans to expand overseas following a series of franchise losses which have almost wiped out the transport group's UK rail business (link below.)
Bowker , the former boss of the Strategic Rail Authority , was expected to add a touch of magic to National Express's rail franchise bid proposals when he was hired as chief executive last year. But the group , once the UK leader in rail , is believed to be ready to acquire European bus companies after being left with just two rail networks at home.
Its remaining rail franchises are the One commuter network from East Anglia to London and the neighbouring London to Southend operator C2C. The company is bidding to run the east coast main line against Virgin , backed by Stagecoach , and First Group.
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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
Letter to DfT
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