TransWilts train service - over 100 journeys every week
Linking the five major population centres of Wiltshire

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Look forward with a new broom - Wiltshire Train Service

When the First group took over trains to our town of Melksham, population around 24,000 and growing, we were served by 10 trains a day and ticket sales for journeys that started or ended at Melksham were rocketing. That was 1st April 2006.

On 10th December 2006, First withdrew all 10 existing trains and provided 4 new services - leaving Swindon at 06:19 and 18:42, and leaving Westbury, Wiltshire at 07:00 and 19:35. Unsurprisingly (to us who live on the line, at least!) they lost most of their business - people cannot travel on the railway if there's no train running, and the timing meant that even the targeted customers for the new limited service - commuters to Swindon - found it inappropriate as their days were extended by 90 minutes.

We have been told, quite honestly I'm sure, that the new timings are pushed into "marginal time" to save the company the cost of hiring an extra train, and that schoolchildren travelling from Stroud need the train at the time that we used to have it.

Attempts to have an appropriate service provided from December 2006 failed. A consultation recognised the problem, but gave us no improvement. Attempts to provide an appropriate service from December 2007 look like they have failed. Draft timetables that have been release under Freedom of Information show an improved service on which a huge amount of work has been done, but it's all come to nowt at the last minute. And we're now told to try for 2008. We HAVE got somewhere - we have had the case taken much more seriously than it was in the past, where we were a footnote on an internal page of a Strategic Rail Authority document, but people cannot travel and the economy of West Wiltshire cannot thrive on the serious consideration of a case. We need real trains!

You would have thought, then, that I would welcome the news this morning that the Managing Director of First Great Western, who was instrumental in First's specification of the new service both before and after the award of the current franchise, has departed from that role in rather less than a blaze of plaudits and glory. I do welcome the news - a hopeful new beginning, perhaps - but I do wish her personally well for the future. To a very great extent she is simply one cog in a big machine, and as the machine moves and the cogs turn ...

But let's look forward. In spite of a repeated series of failures of the players to provide an appropriate service we HAVE moved forward quite a bit. Distant decision makers in London and Aberdeen now know where Wiltshire is, and have learned that the towns of Swindon, Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Frome, Warminster and Salisbury are bustling places and going to be growing rapidly, with travel requirements between over the next few years.

Let's work with those decision makers, and with the team as now constitued at First Great Western, to provide an appropriate service as soon as it can be practically achieved
(written 2007-09-19)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z501 - Public Transport - Rail
  [4312] Officially overcrowded in the first year - (2014-11-15)
  [4306] Four time target - good news. Four time prediction - poor forecasting. - (2014-09-26)
  [4289] It may be cheaper to buy in bulk - (2014-07-15)
  [4276] Swindon to Weymouth - by train, the traditional way - 2014 - (2014-05-12)
  [4269] Survey - Journeys - (2014-04-28)
  [4268] Metrics - historic and current TransWilts train use - (2014-04-27)
  [4267] How effective is our publicity? - (2014-04-26)
  [4263] Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge, public transport over Easter (2014) - (2014-04-12)
  [4256] Train fare look expensive? There may be a cheaper option - (2014-04-02)
  [4253] Easter Weeks - Melksham to Weymouth - (2014-04-02)
  [4252] Staveton Halt, former station between Trowbridge and Melksham - (2014-03-25)
  [4251] Broughton Gifford Halt, TransWilts Railway Line - (2014-03-24)
  [4250] Lacock Halt - former TransWilts Station - (2014-03-23)
  [4238] A Question series posed to Melksham Tourist information - (2014-01-19)
  [4226] Saturday train to Swindon - two weeks in - (2013-12-21)
  [4224] TransWilts - first day pictures - (2013-12-18)
  [4219] TransWilts train services - up from 2 to 8 per day - (2013-12-09)
  [4218] A THANK YOU to those who have brought the new train service to fruition - (2013-12-06)
  [4217] New train service - launch plans and timetable links - (2013-12-03)
  [4216] Los Angeles - post modern transport system - (2013-11-27)
  [4202] Excellent Railfuture conference, but some setup lessons - (2013-11-03)
  [4199] Draft Westbury - Melksham - Swindon train times, from December 2014 - (2013-10-24)
  [4196] Official - Trowbridge and Melksham to London train improvements - (2013-10-22)
  [4195] Booking for Santa, Melksham Railway Development Group, 8th December 2013 - (2013-10-21)
  [4194] TransWilts Link - meeting notes from 19th October - (2013-10-20)
  [4191] Getting people to and from Melksham Station - not 20 but 700 times a day - (2013-10-12)
  [4190] A radical proposal - a cheap and effective way to provide home to city commuter transport - (2013-10-11)
  [4185] TransWilts Trains - running a successful campaign talk - (2013-10-05)
  [4176] International and off island travel from Melksham - (2013-09-16)
  [4173] Train and Rail Travel - who runs it and where do I ask questions? - (2013-09-13)
  [4163] TransWilts Community Rail Partnership - formally constituted - (2013-09-01)
  [4160] Bank Holiday Monday - pictures of a great train trip to Weymouth - (2013-08-27)
  [4159] People WILL walk to the station in Melksham, but they need a path and trains - (2013-08-25)
  [4154] August Bank Holiday - day out from Melksham to London or Weymouth - (2013-08-20)
  [4150] Melksham Regular Public Transport Map - as at August 2013 - (2013-08-09)
  [4148] Special General Meeting, Adoption of Constitution for TransWilts Community Rail Partnership - (2013-08-01)
  [4146] A few more trains means a LOT more passengers. Why? - (2013-07-30)
  [4142] Passenger survey at Chippenham - report and pictures - (2013-07-24)
  [4131] West Coast (of Wales) - railway and stations in pictures - (2013-07-04)
  [4113] Wiltshire and Melksham Transport - what is going on? - (2013-06-09)
  [4110] TransWilts meeting ... - (2013-06-07)
  [4105] Our day trip by train from Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth - (2013-05-28)
  [4104] Weymouth vis the TransWilts - the day out today - (2013-05-27)
  [4080] Fancy a day at the seaside? Weymouth from Melksham - (2013-05-06)
  [4040] Report on the last year - Melksham Railway Developement Group for Melksham Without Parish Council - (2013-03-11)
  [4022] A request for all of Melksham transport groups to work integrated - (2013-03-01)
  [3995] Onward from Brussels - (2013-02-04)
  [3994] On board Eurostar - a running commentary - (2013-02-04)
  [3993] Two trains a day ... how many fares to London? Guess! - (2013-02-04)
  [3986] Rail services in Wiltshire - up in the air? We need to say what is best required. - (2013-01-20)
  [3942] Santa Trip - Melksham Railway Development Group, 2012 - (2012-12-03)
  [3938] A long overdue meeting - a steeping stone towards coordinate transport user inputs - (2012-12-02)
  [3937] Agenda for Wiltshire Link Travel groups meeting, Saturday 1st December 2012 - (2012-11-27)
  [3923] 35 minutes is only a slight delay on our railway service - (2012-11-15)
  [3904] Want to help us improve transport in Wiltshire? Here is how! - (2012-10-26)
  [3899] Father Christmas to be on train in Melksham - (2012-10-19)
  [3893] Public Transport across Wiltshire - a new map - (2012-10-13)
  [3890] Here comes Santa - on the train from Melksham to Swindon on 2nd December 2012 - (2012-10-13)
  [3882] Community Transport - Pewsey, Taunton, and the whole picture too - (2012-10-06)
  [3881] Wiltshire Public Transport User Group co-ordination - (2012-10-05)
  [3879] Mixed mode travel - Information systems - (2012-10-03)
  [3873] Henbury loop, Bristol - a freight railway line with passenger potential? - (2012-09-29)
  [3872] Trains across Wiltshire - an update on the TransWilts - (2012-09-28)
  [3860] Melksham to Steam in Swindon, by train - great day out - (2012-09-16)
  [3826] TransWilts trains - what the next franchise period will bring - (2012-08-04)
  [3815] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 2, TransWilts Rail, Wilts and Berks Canal - (2012-07-23)
  [3804] Scenes from commuting by train - (2012-07-14)
  [3802] What a difference a year makes - (2012-07-10)
  [3795] Like a bathroom company with no plumbers - (2012-07-04)
  [3793] Excellent Rail News - what it really means - (2012-07-01)
  [3786] Improving Wiltshire Rail Offer - it WILL be happening - (2012-06-28)
  [3784] Steam train calls at Melksham - Pictures - (2012-06-26)
  [3765] Christmas in June? Melksham hotel bookings and Santa train - (2012-06-15)
  [3761] Melksham - placed 2254 out of 2255. What can be done about it? - (2012-06-11)
  [3736] Abstraction - (2012-05-19)
  [3728] The future needs for rail services to Melksham - change needed; current service an insult - (2012-05-11)
  [3699] Bristol 50? Bristol 25? - (2012-04-17)
  [3671] Future train services in Wiltshire - please write in to support a better service - (2012-03-24)
  [3668] Kings Cross - new concourse - between Python in Cambridge and Objective C in London - (2012-03-22)
  [3642] Wiltshire Travel Times - Chippenham, Trowbridge, Salisbury and other places too - (2012-03-07)
  [3631] Getting around Dublin by public transport - some observations - (2012-03-01)
  [3626] There is so much to see travelling by train - (2012-02-26)
  [3601] Rail Travel - has it become more unreliable? - (2012-02-02)
  [3579] Transport in Cambridgeshire - seen by an outside observer. What can Wiltshire learn? - (2012-01-15)
  [3565] What would an appropriate train service on the TransWilts line mean - (2011-12-31)
  [3564] I wish I was not a special case - (2011-12-29)
  [3550] Provide a useable train service, and people will use it! - (2011-12-11)
  [3538] Santa Train - another successful trip - 4th December 2011 - (2011-12-04)
  [3501] Santa Claus - on the train from Melksham on 4th December 2011 - (2011-10-30)
  [3493] West Wilts Rail User Group - Walk yesterday from Bradford-on-Avon to Trowbridge - (2011-10-23)
  [3487] Public transport - road and rail - (2011-10-19)
  [3486] How important is public transport to people in the Melksham area? - (2011-10-19)
  [3452] Which or ATOC - who reads train fares right? - (2011-09-22)
  [3434] Sundays - and over eating - (2011-09-11)
  [3410] A review of the Summer Sunday extra trains on the TransWilts line - (2011-08-29)
  [3408] Journey home by public transport for a Bank Holiday - (2011-08-27)
  [3403] Last chance this summer - Swindon and North Wiltshire to Weymouth by through train - (2011-08-22)
  [3392] What costs 8.20 from Melksham, or 22.30 via Chippenham? - (2011-08-14)
  [3378] New product - ensuring that supply matches demand - (2011-08-03)
  [3371] From Wiltshire to Weymouth on Sundays - (2011-07-27)
  [3370] Standing Challenge - (2011-07-26)
  [3364] Dogs Legs on the Dogleg - (2011-07-20)
  [3362] Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth - Sunday Train Service Starts - (2011-07-19)
  [3336] Efficient travel - from Melsksham to Edinburgh by Sleeper Train - (2011-06-26)
  [3331] Comparing Alloa and Melksham - stations and services - (2011-06-23)
  [3328] Summer Sundays - days out by train from Swindon on the TransWilts - (2011-06-18)
  [3318] Summer Sunday Trains - outings from Swindon, Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury - (2011-06-05)
  [3274] Small scale improvement - big scale gain. And they CAN be done with local knowledge - (2011-05-02)
  [3273] Wanted - a look to the future - (2011-05-02)
  [3198] TransWilts rail - coming together, wanted and needed - (2011-03-10)
  [3187] Past and Present - Melksham Station - (2011-02-27)
  [3178] The cost of roadworks on the economy of our town - 1800 pounds per hour? - (2011-02-20)
  [3176] Comparing German, Dutch and British Railways - (2011-02-19)
  [3171] Train and boat journey - the passenger accommodation - (2011-02-15)
  [3167] Can I take my dog by train? And other questions - (2011-02-12)
  [3161] TransWilts rail - what picture represents us - (2011-02-08)
  [3141] Wiltshire Rail services - a golden opportunity - (2011-01-21)
  [3135] A time to be brave? We should ask for what is best for our area. - (2011-01-16)
  [3119] TransWilts - some things to see and do - (2011-01-03)
  [3114] Transwilts Link - both Wiltshire and beyond - (2010-12-30)
  [3113] Trowbridge and Melksham to Chippenham - more roadworks, even slower journey over the winter - (2010-12-30)
  [3111] TransWilts Link - Days out from Swindon to Weymouth? - (2010-12-28)
  [3080] Santa Special - rather more special than usual - December 2010 - (2010-12-07)
  [3079] TransWilts Rail News ... Melksham (Santa Special) Edition ... 5th December 2010 - (2010-12-04)
  [3033] Rail services back to Radstock? - (2010-11-07)
  [3031] Get all your ducks in a row ... and they may turn into swans - (2010-11-06)
  [3017] Seventh day traveller on the six day railway - (2010-10-27)
  [3006] Santa announcement, 5th December 2010, Melksham - (2010-10-20)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2955] Melksham Railway Station - new information point - (2010-09-13)
  [2954] Railway meetings, trips and meetups this autumn - (2010-09-12)
  [2931] Syncronise - software, trains, and buses. Please! - (2010-08-22)
  [2930] Walk - Tilehurst to Pangborne - (2010-08-21)
  [2919] London to Calne, Corsham, Melksham, Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham by public Transport - (2010-08-13)
  [2908] How Green is my train? - (2010-08-07)
  [2901] Ambassador or Anorak? - (2010-08-03)
  [2855] Train Services - Melksham to Bath and Bristol (and airport) - (2010-07-05)
  [2808] From home to Nurnberg - journey pictures - (2010-06-13)
  [2696] Garlic bread without garlic - (2010-03-27)
  [2678] Reaching out to the community - a good case for support - (2010-03-15)
  [2664] Oliver Cromwell at Bristol Temple Meads - (2010-03-06)
  [2662] Is Melksham public transport actually used? - (2010-03-05)
  [2658] Save the Train - a significant change in approach - (2010-03-03)
  [2634] London to and from Melksham by public transport - (2010-02-13)
  [2627] Saturdays out from Melksham - to Oxford, to Didcot or to Swindon - (2010-02-07)
  [2626] On Malachite Green - (2010-02-06)
  [2568] Forums for your Melksham and open source discussions - (2010-01-09)
  [2557] Rail Campaign - response to core consultation - (2009-12-31)
  [2556] Railway Station Survey - please complete today or tomorrow - (2009-12-30)
  [2533] Five guests, three groups, one car - (2009-12-11)
  [2529] Santa Special, 2009 - (2009-12-06)
  [2522] Integrated public Transport - what could be done for Melksham - (2009-12-01)
  [2513] Wiltshire Council purchases Melksham Station Land - (2009-11-26)
  [2511] The story of the railway land at Melksham Station - (2009-11-24)
  [2486] Santa Special - Trowbridge and Melksham to Swindon - (2009-10-31)
  [2477] By train ... - (2009-10-25)
  [2473] Exploring Old Railways - (2009-10-24)
  [2457] Railway Arithmetic - (2009-10-16)
  [2438] Listening to The Minister - (2009-10-05)
  [2395] From Lymington by train - last of the slammers - (2009-09-05)
  [2391] Great Western Route Utilisation Strategy - Draft for Consultation - (2009-09-02)
  [2372] Public Transport from (and to) Melksham on Sundays - (2009-08-23)
  [2328] Melksham - no trains, no southbound buses through the town - (2009-08-08)
  [2318] For Lua Programmers AND for Town Planners - (2009-08-02)
  [2268] Westbury Bypass Refused - looking forward - (2009-07-04)
  [2133] Bigger and better this year! - (2009-04-20)
  [2057] Train and Coach fares from London (and airports) to Melksham - (2009-02-26)
  [2042] Wiltshire Rail Service Update - (2009-02-15)
  [2026] Melksham Climate Friendly Group - (2009-02-05)
  [2024] Carry on Training - in spite of the weather - (2009-02-03)
  [1999] How low can you sink? - (2009-01-17)
  [1966] Background to the TransWilts Train Fiasco - (2008-12-29)
  [1965] How much does a train service actually cost - (2008-12-29)
  [1964] Why hasnt the fiasco been put right - (2008-12-29)
  [1905] A Gold Star for First Great Western Customer Service - (2008-11-24)
  [1858] Camera with night vision, youth with no vision - (2008-10-28)
  [1848] 30th November - Santa Trip from Melksham - (2008-10-19)
  [1757] Preserved railways - struggling to the future? - (2008-08-17)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1708] A Train Service Update for Melksham Party in the Park - (2008-07-13)
  [1616] Not daring to be an anorak - (2008-04-19)
  [1567] Melksham - Swindon. Train v Bus v Car - (2008-03-07)
  [1558] Getting somewhere with the train service - (2008-02-28)
  [1530] Railway Acronyms and Abbreviations - (2008-02-03)
  [1452] Santa on the train to Melksham - (2007-12-01)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1424] Closer than you think - the next step - (2007-11-08)
  [1382] First Great Western - information for customers - (2007-10-07)
  [1314] Business travel by train in the USA - (2007-08-22)
  [1303] Heading Upstate New York - (2007-08-14)
  [1291] Day trip to Weymouth - (2007-08-05)
  [1274] Radio coverage for railway issues - (2007-07-23)
  [1273] Melksham or Weymouth? Meal or day out? - (2007-07-23)
  [1228] Some progress on the train campaign - (2007-06-10)
  [1139] Overcrowded trains around Bristol - (2007-04-08)
  [1097] Train and business balls all in the air! - (2007-03-02)
  [1093] Wiltshire Train - can YOU come on 5th March? - (2007-02-25)
  [1076] Save the Train - an update - (2007-02-12)
  [1069] Rail trouble forced me to buy hotel - (2007-02-07)
  [1063] Bradford-on-Avon - 150 years of passenger trains - (2007-02-03)
  [1045] Bang! Train campaign hits home - (2007-01-19)
  [1044] Call for appropriate train services - Swindon, Bristol, Bath, West Wilts, Severn Beach etc - (2007-01-18)
  [1033] Empty at Easleigh, Missing at Melksham, Overflowing at Oldfield - (2007-01-14)
  [976] Santa at the station - (2006-12-09)
  [974] The last commuter train through Melksham - (2006-12-09)
  [952] Coming from London to Melksham by train for a course - (2006-11-28)
  [877] Yes, but what do we do now?? - (2006-09-24)
  [814] Melksham Railway Calendar 2007 - (2006-07-25)
  [803] Not shouting - (2006-07-16)
  [790] Shadow Transport Minister to visit Melksham - (2006-07-02)
  [697] For any North and West Wilts and Swindon Readers - (2006-04-23)
  [688] Are you free on Friday evening? - (2006-04-18)
  [648] West Wilts Railway Users Group and trains to Lacock - (2006-03-16)
  [634] Real chance to make a difference - (2006-03-05)
  [632] Moral dilemma - (2006-03-04)
  [527] Greater Western Franchise Awarded - (2005-12-13)
  [524] Santa comes to Melksham - (2005-12-11)
  [521] Proof needed? Please just use common sense! - (2005-12-08)
  [488] Looking for railway groups and users - Swindon, Salisbury, Southampton - (2005-11-06)
  [486] Rail services under threat - Swindon, Melksham ... and Newquay and Bicester too - (2005-11-05)
  [447] Tomorrow's meeting. - (2005-09-19)
  [434] Through public transport connection, Chippenham to Salisbury, to cease - (2005-09-02)
  [428] Swindon - Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge - Westbury train service - (2005-08-29)
  [154] Railway train service, Melksham station - (2004-12-17)


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