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This is an archived page.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

What's the basis for the decision?

The SRA hasn't published its figures

The SRA has not provided any figures to justify its decision. My own (annecdotal) evidence is that the station / train seems to be getting busier rather than quieter, and that doesn't seem to tally with statement that traffic levels can no longer justify the service.

The SRA's figures may include August 2004 - an exceptional month

In August, 2004 a collision between a car and a train near Reading closed the line from Reading to Westbury for a period of several weeks. The railway line through Melksham was used a diversionary route throughout this period, and all trains except the 05:56 to Swindon and the return service were cancelled by Wessex Trains on the demand of Network Rail.

During this period, First Great Western trains were passing through the station regularly but not stopping. I spoke to First Great Western about this and asked them if they could stop some of their trains - we had customers booked on the cancelled train - but after due consideration they told me that they could not do so for operation reasons.

The 08:30 First Great Western train passes through Melksham on 21st August ... the main line was closed again. It's going quite slowly because of the sharp curves at both ends of the station, but it doesn't stop ...

It seems ironic that we're threatened with a train service cut based on figures including a period during which the service was withdrawn without notice. OF COURSE no one could use the train during that period.

I note that the SRA is also asking a service which includes the withdrawl of the semi-fast Paddington to Exeter service. This service was also cancelled for several weeks in the aftermath of the August 2004 collision. Can this be a co-incidence? It strikes me as circumstantial evidence that the SRA are using the low travel figures during the aftermath of an accident on which to base future provision.

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