|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Old Friend Returns To Avon Valley Railway - 4139/7761
Written by Lee on Saturday, 22nd September 2007
For the first time since 1964 , the line will once again see the familiar sight of a Fowler 7F hauling trains through Bitton station (link below.)
The locomotive is being transported 300 miles by road on a low-loader from North Yorkshire Moors Railway to Bitton where it will be from October 20-28 2007.
For five of those days the Fowler 7F will be pulling passenger trains and for two days it will be used for driver experience courses where people learn how to drive a steam engine.
Because the locomotive was based at Bath and used to travel through Bitton to Mangotsfield and Westerleigh , there is already a lot of interest from local enthusiasts , as well as those who just remember it pulling freight trains along the line.
Bitton Railway has to pay
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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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