|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
A Contrast in Journeys - 3653/7152
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 28th August 2007
I'm inviting someone from Swindon to Melksham on Friday evening, and I wrote:
"""If you catch the 18:42 from Swindon on Friday, which gets to Melksham at 19:08, we can pick you up and bring you to the meeting. To return, the 21:48 bus to Chippenham - the last bus of the day - gets to Chippenham bus station at 22:05 (and connects on to the railway station for 22:14). The 23:04 train then gets you to Swindon at 23:17. ((You can see why towns like Melksham with a population of 24000 really need a decent train service - but this a particularly long wait at Chippenham.)) """
So that's an elapsed time of 26 minutes FROM Swindon and an elapsed time of 89 minutes back. IF there was a good connection, the bus / train combo on the way back could be reduced to an hour (with a ten minute connection at Chippenham station which is the absolute minimum I would want) but it's still over twice as long on the "road".
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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
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