Save the Melksham Train
This is an archived page.
Please see [here] if you're looking for the current "Save the Train" home page.
Please see [here] for the TransWilts site.
Friday, 26th March 2010. Launch of TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. Bridge House, Trowbridge, from 19:30
An exciting new step forward to rejeuvenation of the line, its service and its use
BUSY, EXCELLENT MEETING ... see [here] for initial report
Train service remains dire - southbound from Swindon at 06:15 and 18:45, northbound from Westbury at 07:02 and 19:35. Please pledge your support if you would like to see an increase to six trains a day -
arriving Swindon at 07:48 08:53 11:50 14:50 17:36 and 20:19,
returning at 06:18 09:02 12:02 15:02 17:55 and 18:45.

Keynote for 2010

Forum archive ... Blog archive

An Open letter to First Greater Western's MD

NEW - the reply I just got

Dear Ms Forster,

May I congratulate you on the award to you of the Greater Western Franchise for the next 10 years.

With the addition to your previous franchises of the former Wessex Trains operations, you've acquired the rights and responsibilities to provide a rail service to Melksham in Wiltshire - a town of 24000 people, with a further 1000 homes under construction or authorised and a very heavy traffic flow to places such as Chippenham and Swindon.

Most of the journeys made from Melksham in recent times have been by road rather than by rail, although train ticket sales (figures from the office of the Rail Regulator) have grown by 35% compound for the last five years. This growth has been in spite of a very infrequent service (there's a gap from 07:45 to 13:35 in northbound trains, for example) and frequent service suspensions for engineering works or for the running over the line of main line diverted trains.

Melksham offers you a real opportunity to run a profitable service. If you compare the town's ticket sales to those at the neighbouring (and smaller) town of Bradford on Avon, you'll see that the smaller town generates 10 times the amount of traffic with half the population ... and it's because the Bradford on Avon service is more frequent (approx hourly) and, I think, more reliable.

If you were to run the single 153 unit currently providing the service, just between Chippenham (where it could reverse in either platform) and Westbury, you would be able to offer a service at a similar frequency to Bradford, and ticket sales / traffic levels would increase to a similar level. My calculations suggest that the local service would break even if the number of ticket sales was just two times the current level. And I'm not including long distance tickets in that figure either - just "on the line" amounts.

I'm a private individual running a business in Melksham. I moved here in 1999 and find the people of the town are welcoming and friendly - and I know they'll work very much WITH you as they do with us to make a positive plan such as this come to fruition for our mutual profitable benefit.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Ellis
01225 708225

To: Alison Forster
Managing Director
First Great Western
MH42, Milford House
1, Milford Street
Swindon SN1 1HL

This site is hosted by Well House Consultants Ltd. (
Contact Information

Further Information:
 Current Summary
 Daily update
 User forum
 Service now
 Service future
 Future Analysis
 Recent Statistics
 Recent letters
 Letter to DfT
 Save the train
 Support us
 Other Maps
 Station facilities
 Station approach
 Trains diverted
 About Melksham
 Site Map
 About this site