Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Restating the case - some bare bones for the newcomer - 7995/12945
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 5th April 2009

I've just been responding to a request for suggestions of journeys that need improvement and lines that should be re-opened from a national group.  Text reproduced here.  [color=Purple]The cases seem to speak for themselves, don't they?[/color]

* Journeys in need of improvement -

1. The Transwilts line - West Wiltshire (Westbury, Trowbridge, Melksham) to Swindon.  There is a net outflow of 6000 employed people per day from West Wiltshire, and the largest town in the county, and with a major traffic flow to it, is Swindon.  The traffic flow clogs up the A350, with people who are communting by private car because the bus from Trowbridge takes 95 minutes, and the train (at 35 minutes) only runs two times a day - giving a Swindon arrival at 07:48 and a departure at 18:45 which is far too long for a pracical working day (the other service arrives at Swindon at 20:20, and leaves at 06:15)

2. Dilton Marsh - formerly set in the countryside, this station now sits between the growing residential communities of Dilton Marsh and Westbuy Leigh - each of which is just a few hundred yards away.  Plenty of trains pass through (and slowly too) but the services that stop are few and far between (with a huge peak hour gap in the evening)  and the service is horribly unbalanced.  Northbound many services run to Bath and Bristol, Southbound two of the few come from Swindon and some start at Westbury, and this means that round trip opportuunities from the residential area are currently fit only for the minority who are happy with waits, changes, and different ways out and back.

3. Melksham - a town of over 20,000 people, many of who travel daily to places like Swindon, Chippenham, Bath, Bristol and Trowbridge - all of which are rail linked - but which has just two services calling each way daily.

* Lines that should re-open

Frome to Radstock.  Track remains in place.  Radstock is a deprived area with commuting outflow and more houses being built (ironically on former railway land which may soon prevent an easy re-opening).  Some trains already terminate at Frome so there's a potential natural extension.

P.S. On rail fares ... try this one.  Swindon to Salisbury, single, catching the direct train via the TransWilts line (Chippenham - Melkshm - Trowbridge) at 06:15.  You'll be quoted 50 pounds for a journey that takes about an hour, and takes you 40 miles as the crow flies.

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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