Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/8502
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 7th November 2007

An interesting article on the controversial open - access operator (link below.)

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/8855
Written by Lee on Thursday, 29th November 2007

Grand Central has taken delivery of its first complete train (link below.)

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/9108
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 18th December 2007

A limited service is due to start today (18/12/2007, links below.)

Grand Central will run one return service per day until 23 December. It plans to restart services again on 27 December, after a programme of track maintenance.

Managing Director Ian Yeowart said: "We expect to have the full timetable up and running by the middle of January, when all the rolling stock has gone through the necessary maintenance checks and upgrades."

"It is very important for the crews to start before Christmas, they have been with us for about 11 months and they are chomping at the bit to get started."

Mr Yeowart said passengers would initially be able to buy tickets on the train until its web-based ticket purchasing system was up and running.

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/9162
Written by Lee on Friday, 21st December 2007

A train fault halted the service, but it was due to be running again today (link below.)

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/9466
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 16th January 2008

An overview of Grand Central's first month (link below.)

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/9748
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 30th January 2008

Problems obtaining spare vehicles have delayed the full roll-out of Grand Central's rail link between the North East and London (link below.)

The firm had hoped to implement a full timetable by mid-January, but has postponed the launch until contractors supply spare power cars and trailers.

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/10200
Written by Lee on Monday, 18th February 2008

Grand Central will begin operating a full timetable from early March, according to the firm's managing director (link below.)

Tom Clift says refurbishment of the necessary spare power cars and carriages is now complete.

He added that he was "fully confident" of the new deadline.

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/10520
Written by Lee on Monday, 3rd March 2008

Grand Central has begun operating a full timetable, ending months of setbacks following the firm's launch last year (link below.)

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/12282
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 13th May 2008

Grand Central is hoping to expand its service five months after it began operating between London and the north-east of England (link below.)

The East Coast Mainline link from Sunderland, via Teesside and North Yorkshire, was initially plagued by a series of delays and setbacks.

However, demand is now so good the company is hoping to run an additional return train every day.

It would be timed to benefit day trippers and football supporters.

The company is awaiting a decision from the rail regulator before it purchases new rolling stock.

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/12378
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 20th May 2008

Grand Central has been forced to cut the number of trains from the north-east of England to London because of technical problems (link below.)

The company introduced a belated daily service from Sunderland, via Teesside and North Yorkshire, last December.

But now it has been forced to reduce operations because of a series of "major component failures".

The company apologised to customers and said contingency plans would be in force until further notice.

Changes mean some services are cancelled and others starting and terminating in York, with passengers ferried to other destinations by road.

Grand Central trains also stop at Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk and York.

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/12530
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 10th June 2008

Troubled rail company Grand Central is "100% committed" to its service between the north-east of England and London, according to its founder (link below.)

The firm, which runs trains between Sunderland and London, has been plagued by problems and recently scaled back services due to technical issues.

Two of Grand Central's six power cars are now undergoing a full overhaul.

Despite the setbacks, Ian Yeowart said the company would never walk away from the "hugely important" service.

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/12596
Written by Lee on Thursday, 26th June 2008

Grand Central hopes to return to full service on Monday (link below.)

Two engines have now been repaired and tested exhaustively over 1,000 miles.

They are in limited service and, if no further issues arise, a full timetable should return on Monday, said operations director Sean English.

[quote="Sean English"]"We've been testing the power cars over the past couple of days and there have been no problems.

"They are currently being used to operate the shuttle service, and with any luck there won't be any further problems and we should have the resources for a full timetable on Monday."[/quote]

The company's fifth and sixth power cars, which are used as back-ups, have also suffered technical problems, though one is now fully operational.

The other has been sent to an engineering firm in Loughborough for repairs.

Re: Grand Central Profile Interview - 4658/12649
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 8th July 2008

Continuing technical problems have forced rail firm Grand Central to delay a return to full service (link below.)

The company, which operates between Sunderland and London, was left with only one train and had to introduce a reduced timetable on 21 May.

It had hoped to restore the three-times daily service by the start of July.

This has now been postponed while the firm carries out further "exhaustive tests" to ensure that passengers face no further disruption.

Four of its six power cars are now fully operational - enough to operate a full timetable - but work is continuing to ensure the company has a robust back-up equipment in case of further problems.

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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