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Public Transport - Rail
Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of Public Transport - Rail. We provide open source training course and business hotel accommodation in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

Background
Until July 2005, I knew little about trains. Then I saw a letter in the local paper telling me that the consultation about services to Melksham from the end of the following year had passed, and we were to loose most of our services. I choose my battles carefully, but this was one that I couldn't let pass me by - it seemed unfair an nonsensical, and since that time I've got myself involved and a now know a bity more on the subject than the average "Joe Public".
Articles and tips on this subjectupdated
4263Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge, public transport over Easter (2014)
For the first time for many years - YES - there is public transport running this Easter from Chippenham via Melksham to Trowbridge at useful times. Please use it! * Trains run daily (Just £5.00 off peak day return, Chippenham to Trowbridge) * Faresaver X34 bus runs daytime about twice an hour ...
2014-04-12
 
4256Train fare look expensive? There may be a cheaper option
I get rather upset when I see that someone's decided that the train is too expensive for their day out having visited thetrainline.com and looked at the cheapest available advanced fares for their date and time. And that's because they may have been quoted a far higher price than they need to pay. ...
2014-04-02
 
4253Easter Weeks - Melksham to Weymouth
Easter Weeks - 14th to 18th April and 21st to 25th April - days trip from Melksham to Weymouth by train, using the new TransWilts train service. Leave Melksham at 09:15, and arrive back at 19:46. Adult day return fare £16.50, child £8.25. If travelling in a group, ask for a "GroupSave" ticket where ...
2014-04-02
 
4252Staveton Halt, former station between Trowbridge and Melksham
Trowbridge - the county town of Wiltshire - has spread north and now incorporates Staverton village. The Kennet and Avon Canal, the River Avon and the TransWilts railway line from Westbury and Trowbridge to Chippenham and Swindon all pass from west to east through the village. And Staverton Halt on ...
2014-03-25
 
4251Broughton Gifford Halt, TransWilts Railway Line
Just a short distance from Melksham, the road to Broughton Gifford crosses the TransWilts railway line and in 1903 a halt was built there where local trains would stop on request. It closed in 1955 and, as it had been built of wood, there's nothing left to see of the platforms today. The halt was ...
2014-03-25
 
4250Lacock Halt - former TransWilts Station
Over the past ten days, years of undergrowth has been cut back along the railway line from Chippenham to Trowbridge, and I've taken the opportunity of a weekend, some sunshine and some nice clouds to take some pictures. Lacock Halt was situated about 2.5 miles from Chippenham and closed in 1966. Here's ...
2014-03-24
 
4238A Question series posed to Melksham Tourist information
"What time are the trains to London?" "07:20, 07:48, 10:04, 12:03, 14:30, 16:31, 18:48 and 19:47, Monday to Friday. 07:47, 08:37, 09:47, 11:47, 13:47, 15:21, 16:47 and 18:47 on Saturdays and 10:44, 13:46, 16:43, 17:30, 19:05 and 19:55 on Sunday. Change at Swindon; journey time around 100 to 120 minutes, ...
2014-01-19
 
4226Saturday train to Swindon - two weeks in
This morning, a Saturday, Lisa and I rode the 11:47 train into Swindon. It was only the second time this train has run, and following trains at 07:37, 08:27 and 09:37, I expected it to be quite quiet... those people who wanted to do their Christmas shopping have left two or three hours earlier. There ...
2013-12-27
 
4224TransWilts - first day pictures
It's been a mad ten days. Here, somewhat belatedly for my personal blog, a representative selection and a HUGE thank you to everyone who was made this possible 62 :   12 :   13 :   35 :   36 :   41 :   2 :   54 :   57 :   65 :   28 :   69 :   67 ...
2013-12-21
 
4217New train service - launch plans and timetable links
It's less than a week away... the start of an improved train service on the TransWilts line. The following are quick links to First Great Western's timetables: Westbury to Swindon services: http://twcrp.info/times London to Trowbridge and Westbury via Melksham http://twcrp.info/central1 Southampton ...
2013-12-11
 
4219TransWilts train services - up from 2 to 8 per day
The day that many people thought would never come has arrived... there are more train services on the TransWilts line - currently running Swindon, Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge to Westbury, with onward connections including Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Salisbury - than there have been in living ...
2013-12-11
 
4218A THANK YOU to those who have brought the new train service to fruition
A new train service such as the TransWilts one doesn't just materialise out of thin air. All aspects of the service need to be checked and validated and good cases made and then a mechanism for delivery and promotion of the service has to be provided. This takes a long time, and a great deal of commitment ...
2013-12-07
(longer)
4216Los Angeles - post modern transport system
I'm in the USA for Thanksgiving... Los Angeles, a modern city where public transport was ripped out in the 1960s as we progressed forward to the life of the private car. The old red car routes have gone - to be reused as green bands and keep fit tracks in cities like Hermosa Beach. But look around ...
2013-11-29
 
4202Excellent Railfuture conference, but some setup lessons
When I attend events these days, I take a professional look at how they're organised - from the presentation right through to the back-room issues. I was in the town hall in Oxford yesterday for the Railfuture annual conference and first and foremost it was great to see so many people (147, I understand) ...
2013-11-09
 
4199Draft Westbury - Melksham - Swindon train times, from December 2014
Likely service from 8th December 2013. Note that Saturday trains vary by up to 15 minutes in January 2014, and that all weekend trains are subject to some variation when engineering works are in progress. Trains leave from Melksham Station for Chippenham and Swindon... • on Mondays to Fridays at: ...
2013-10-25
 
4196Official - Trowbridge and Melksham to London train improvements
Marvelous news today that the Wiltshire Cabinet has approved the financing of additional TransWilts trains from Westbury via Trowbridge and Melksham to Chippenham and Swindon. Here's an example of what it will mean... in this case for passengers to London. Monday to Friday from 9th December PaddingtonMelkshamTrowbridge ...
2013-10-25
(longer)
4195Booking for Santa, Melksham Railway Development Group, 8th December 2013
Santa Claus will be on the train from Melksham on Sunday, 8th December at 17:30. Please pop in to the tourist information centre in Church Street to book to see him - there's a limit of around 120 people, as that's about the most even Santa can see in the 90 minutes of the ride up to Swindon and bac ...
2013-10-25
(short)
4194TransWilts Link - meeting notes from 19th October
A very successful TransWilts Link meeting yesterday in Westbury. What we lacked in numbers of delegates we made up in quality of people and knowledge, and the discussions were really useful, forward thinking and brought together people from Bedwyn in the east to Westbury in the west, and from Royal Wootton ...
2013-10-20
(longest)
4191Getting people to and from Melksham Station - not 20 but 700 times a day
There are currently around 20 train journeys made per day to / from Melksham. That represents well under one journey per year per head of population. By comparison, journeys at Warminster are 48 journeys per head of population - that's the next lowest for a station serving a major urban area - rising ...
2013-10-18
(longer)
4190A radical proposal - a cheap and effective way to provide home to city commuter transport
This is a proposal for the implementation of the LSTF funded bus extensions at Melksham in such a way that they provide effective commuter services to Swindon, Reading and London. Morning Run the town minibus from Bowerhill via the east of Melksham estates to the station, to arrive there before each ...
2013-10-18
 
4185TransWilts Trains - running a successful campaign talk
I have been asked to talk for a few minutes at TravelWatch SouthWest later today... The TransWilts line from Swindon to Westbury, via Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge, and on to Salisbury via Dilton Marsh and Warminster is a line on which the only two trains operating each day run in "marginal time" ...
2013-10-12
(longer)
4173Train and Rail Travel - who runs it and where do I ask questions?
"Who can I ask"? One of the big questions that rail passengers, and potential rail passengers, ask. And there are so many different organisations involved that the answer's not straightforward. It gets even more complex for those of us who look beyond our daily travel and look to helping contribute ...
2013-09-23
(longer)
4176International and off island travel from Melksham
With an improved train service, land and sea based public transport would become viable from Melksham... not only can you easily reach the 20 most popular stations listed on our local timetable, but you can also reach almost every other station in Great Britain - there are over 2,500, and you can reach ...
2013-09-21
 
4163TransWilts Community Rail Partnership - formally constituted
Yesterday's Special General Meeting for the formalisation under a constitution of the Community Rail Partnership went just about perfectly. A dozen of us met for an update on the what's been going on, to formalise our position so that we have our groundrules and everyone knows where we fit in, and then ...
2013-09-07
 
4160Bank Holiday Monday - pictures of a great train trip to Weymouth
Bank Holiday Monday in Melksham and we woke to an overcast (almost threatening) sky... and I wondered how many people would be joining me on the train (change at Westbury) to Melksham. Publicity has been purely through the 'flyer' printer for us by First Great Western and distributed in the Melksham ...
2013-08-31
(longer)
4159People WILL walk to the station in Melksham, but they need a path and trains
Yesterday, I walked through Melksham catching up on a couple of errands, and stopped by a sandwich shop to buy lunch to take home. Chatting with the young lady behind the counter, I learned that she lived in Melksham, doesn't drive, and finds it really hard to get out of town at times - especially for ...
2013-08-31
(longer)
4154August Bank Holiday - day out from Melksham to London or Weymouth
Bank Holiday Monday - 26th August - and there's a day trip opportunity by train from Melksham at 08:38 (also Chippenham at 08:29 and Swindon at 08:12) to Weymouth - get there at 11:03, set off back at 17:30 and get back to Melksham at 19:46 (20:00 at Chippenham, 20:20 at Swindon). The fare from Melksham ...
2013-08-20
 
4150Melksham Regular Public Transport Map - as at August 2013
Here's a Melksham public transport map, showing regular bus services and trains. Service shown in summary: • X34, Faresaver. Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge - Frome, every 30 minutes Monday to Friday daytime • 14, Frome Minibuses. Asda - Market Place - Melksham Forest - Queensway - Snowberry ...
2013-08-17
 
4146A few more trains means a LOT more passengers. Why?
If you take a train service that's 2 trains per day, and you increase it up to 8, will you really make much difference? Will you make 4 times the difference? Such are the questions that are asked about the service on the TransWilts line, linking Swindon which is by far the largest population centres ...
2013-08-17
 
4148Special General Meeting, Adoption of Constitution for TransWilts Community Rail Partnership
Saturday, 31st August. ANYONE with an interest is welcome. Please sign up [here] to express an interest, whether or not you'll be coming along, and whether you want to become a formal member or just add your support. See also TransWilts Community Rail Partnership web site for more details. 10:00 ...
2013-08-01
 
4142Passenger survey at Chippenham - report and pictures
Yesterday, fifteen volunteers joined me to assist Wiltshire Council and Aktins survey passengers travelling from Chippenham station. There's quite good data available as to ticket sales and journeys from the stations, but rather less as to how people get to the station in the first place, where they ...
2013-07-27
 
4131West Coast (of Wales) - railway and stations in pictures
I've taken the opportunity of being away on holiday to use the trains on the Welsh coast. In many ways things are different here to the TransWilts, but there are some similarities too to how it is - or rather how it should be. For here you have a pretty well filled train shuttling up and down every 2 ...
2013-07-15
 
4113Wiltshire and Melksham Transport - what is going on?
My meeting notes on the TransWilts Use Groups co-ordination meeting. Subject discussed / messages raised on Saturday. One MP, one Wiltshire Councillor, 2 Presidents of Chamber of Commerce, one FSB area representation for Transport, one Campaign for Better Transport Dynamo, one council expert officer, ...
2013-06-15
 
4110TransWilts meeting ...
Confirmation / agenda for tomorrow's (8th June) TransWilts Link meeting, The Laverton, Westbury Doors open 10 a.m. for 10.45 start / meeting over by around 14:45 Teas and coffees available, and a few snacks. For Transport user groups / co-ordinators. All welcome - details from graham@wellho.net 10:45 ...
2013-06-08
 
4105Our day trip by train from Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth
Lovely day in Weymouth... The train was just right - nearly every seat take, but not overcrowded. A great day had by all. Thank you to First Great Western, their team, and the TransWilts team for helping it to happen, and to all the people who came along for making it worthwhile for us to have organised.               As ...
2013-06-08
(longer)
4104Weymouth vis the TransWilts - the day out today
Welcome to the TransWilts... Wiltshire's neglected railway line which links the major urban areas in Wiltshire - Swindon to Salisbury via Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Dilton Marsh and Warminster. There are just two trains each way per day at present, although there are also plans to step ...
2013-06-08
 
4080Fancy a day at the seaside? Weymouth from Melksham
Bank Holiday Monday - 27th May - is a rare opportunity to travel by train from Melksham to Weymouth for the day - prices are 16 pounds for an adult, or just 36 pounds for a group of 4 adults and 4 children using a "Groupsave" ticket. The train at 09:01 from Melksham Station, and arrives in Weymouth ...
2013-05-11
 
4040Report on the last year - Melksham Railway Developement Group for Melksham Without Parish Council
Dear Members of Melksham Without, The Melksham Railway Development Group has had a busy year - meeting every 2 moths to bring together and co-ordinate the continuance and improvement of rail services calling at Melksham, and to encourage the retention, maintenance and improvement of the station, facilities ...
2013-03-30
(longer)
4022A request for all of Melksham transport groups to work integrated
It was suggested the other night that Melksham's Community Area Partnership Transport Group might like to run as separate groups, looking at different modes of transport - Buses, Trains, Car, Cycle, Foot. And whilst I agree that focus groups on individual modes might be useful at times, I cannot agree ...
2013-03-02
 
3995Onward from Brussels
Well - that's both disappointing and fascinating. The Frya services onto which was supposed to connect at Brussels haven't been running for the last two weeks, and I found myself looking a a bewildering poster that talked about Anvers, Antwerp and Roosendaal. Alternative places to change to reach ...
2013-02-04
 
3994On board Eurostar - a running commentary
("Dear Diary") ... I'm giving a course, on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, in the Dutch town of Zoetermeer. 9 a.m. start on Tuesday, 17:00 finish on Wednesday, and I have heavy baggage beyond what's practical on a plane - manuals and laptop computers to take with me. I could have driven all ...
2013-02-04
(longest)
3993Two trains a day ... how many fares to London? Guess!
Up early ... and a lift to the station for the 07:20 train [from Melksham station]. Buying a ticket so unusual "it't the first of those I've sold in six years ... and I don't think any of my colleagues have either". Change at Swindon into the 07:58 to London - one of only a couple of trains scheduled ...
2013-02-04
 
3986Rail services in Wiltshire - up in the air? We need to say what is best required.
Until last October (2012), we were all on course for a new franchise to be awarded to operate train services in the Great Western area - with four bidders (First, National Express, Arriva and Stagecoach) all finalising their bids, with an award of the franchise being due for announcement about now (January ...
2013-01-26
(longer)
3937Agenda for Wiltshire Link Travel groups meeting, Saturday 1st December 2012
The Laverton, Westbury, Saturday 1st December 2012 Wiltshire Link meeting for Travel and Transport User Groups and Interested Parties. If you feel this is for you - please sign up and come along [more details and signup form] Please feel free to arrive from 10 a.m.; coffee and biscuits will be available ...
2012-12-08
 
3938A long overdue meeting - a steeping stone towards coordinate transport user inputs
A rapt audience at yesterday's Travel and Transport coordination meeting for users and user groups in Westbury ... I fell asleep last night in a mixture of exhaustion and elation. We met at The Laverton in Westbury - All seats we had laid out were filled, with latecomers grabbing extra chairs. Representatives ...
2012-12-08
 
3942Santa Trip - Melksham Railway Development Group, 2012
I'm told it's the 14th year that Santa has been on the train from Melksham in the weeks before Christmas. In recent years, he's travelled up to Swindon and back on the 17:25 train ... this year with 80 adults and 70 children. A great time was had by all; the children met Santa, and got presents ...
2012-12-08
 
392335 minutes is only a slight delay on our railway service
I'm going 2 days of PHP in London, and I've elected to travel by train. As I'm actually writing this, I'm somewhere between Twyford and Maidenhead, when I should now be on the underground somewhere near Euston Square. We were 35 minutes late leaving Reading, and our express train on the slow lines, ...
2012-11-17
 
3765Christmas in June? Melksham hotel bookings and Santa train
They say that Christmas planning comes earlier and earlier each year and indeed earlier today - 15th June and even before the longest day - I have been asked a couple of questions Well House Manor will be open over Christmas, as we have for the last couple of years. Our quiet hotel provides an ideal ...
2012-11-04
 
3904Want to help us improve transport in Wiltshire? Here is how!
Can you identify with any of these questions? Would you like to help to make things better? There's a need for improved co-ordination between transport providers, various user groups, local authorities, special interest groups - and the people who use the services too! As a group which is working ...
2012-11-04
 
3893Public Transport across Wiltshire - a new map
I'm planning for some joined up thinking - thinking about joining up public (and private) transport for joined up - efficient, environmentally friendly, journey to, from, and in Wiltshire. The first map here shows the passenger railway lines of Wiltshire, with stations as solid black dots, and ...
2012-10-20
 
3899Father Christmas to be on train in Melksham
Tickets now on sale! The TransWilts Santa trip 2012 runs on Sunday, 2nd December. From Melksham station at 17:20 to Swindon, and back ... getting into Melksham at around 18:40. There's free parking at Melksham Station and in the approach road, and there will be plenty of spaces on the Sunday, even ...
2012-10-20
 
3890Here comes Santa - on the train from Melksham to Swindon on 2nd December 2012
I'm delighted to announce that Santa Claus has agreed to visit Melksham once again in early December - he'll be travelling on the train that runs from Melksham Station to Swindon at 17:25 (twenty five past five) on Sunday, 2nd Decemeber 2012. This visit has been arranged by the Melksham Railway ...
2012-10-13
 
3882Community Transport - Pewsey, Taunton, and the whole picture too
Just a week into October ... and yet so much has happened already ... it's the meeting season. On Rail / transport alone, two meetings in a week. I travelled up to Pewsey on Thursday evening, and attended a packed meeting in the Church Hall. Pewsey currently has 19 trains per day calling ...
2012-10-13
 
3881Wiltshire Public Transport User Group co-ordination
Public Transport is all about linkage - which is why it's so devilishly difficult to make local recommendations and decisions - of all areas of community involvement, this is the one where co-operation is needed. And, alas, specifying running and tuning transport systems is a highly technical business ...
2012-10-13
 
3879Mixed mode travel - Information systems
A document for discussion, with thoughts being put together for what would help us, in Wiltshire, to make better and more educated use of current and future transport systems, for the benefit of ourselves, our business community, our tourist industry, our transport operators, our councils, our quality ...
2012-10-13
(longer)
3501Santa Claus - on the train from Melksham on 4th December 2011
I'm delighted to announce that Santa Claus has agreed to visit Melksham again in early December - he'll be travelling on the train that runs from Melksham Station to Swindon at 17:20 (twenty past five) on Sunday, 4th December 2011. This visit has been arranged by the Melksham Railway Development ...
2012-10-13
 
3873Henbury loop, Bristol - a freight railway line with passenger potential?
Today offered a chance to travel on some unusual railway lines in the Bristol area as part of the Community Rail Festival, and I was lucky enough to get a seat on the 11:08 train, which turned out to run from Bristol Temple Meads up the main line north to Filton, across the freight only line via Henbury ...
2012-10-06
 
3872Trains across Wiltshire - an update on the TransWilts
The county of Wiltshire, in central southern England, is characterised as being largely rural, but in practise most of the population lives in urban areas (towns) of which Swindon (pop 200,000), Salisbury (45,000), Chippenham (40,000), Trowbridge (30,000) and Melksham (25,000) are the largest, separated ...
2012-09-29
(longer)
3860Melksham to Steam in Swindon, by train - great day out
A day out for just £11.30 from Melksham, available every Saturday. Take the 09:20 train to Swindon, which gets there at 09:49 and take a ten minute walk to the Steam museum. Your Melksham to Swindon Steam rail ticket, which can be bought from the conductor on the train, includes admission. ...
2012-09-22
 
3802What a difference a year makes
A year ago, Lisa and I were cruising in the Mediterranean in early July - which I was reminded of yesterday when I spoke with our dedicated server hosting company concerning their service for the next twelve months. This year, I wasn't in Rome but in East Anglia on that date; by contrast, the second ...
2012-08-11
 
3804Scenes from commuting by train
I was training near London Bridge at the end of the week just gone ... a commute home after the end of the course, via the Jubilee Line, the Bakerloo Line, First Great Western, and a pickup by car. As ever, only that last leg to Melksham was ill served by Public Transport, with the train arriving at ...
2012-08-11
 
3815The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 2, TransWilts Rail, Wilts and Berks Canal
This is the second post in a series of news update on various projects in the Melksham Area. In my roles as President of the Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Press Secretary for the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, and in my business role of running a hotel and training centre in the town, I tend ...
2012-08-11
 
3826TransWilts trains - what the next franchise period will bring
A week ago, the Department for Transport published the Invitation to Tender for the Great Western Franchise - i.e. it detailed what it's asking a company (from the prescreened bidder list) to run in train services for the 15 years from July 2013. With some exceptions, the requested service level (numbers ...
2012-08-11
(longer)
3795Like a bathroom company with no plumbers
If I ran a bathroom installation company, I would have chippies, plasterers, tilers, laboureres and plumbers to help me. Customers would be looking for a complete job, and if I was missing any one trade - say I had no plumbers - then the rest of my team would be pretty idle with only the occasional ...
2012-07-14
 
3793Excellent Rail News - what it really means
It's been a good week for "Improving Rail Services in Wiltshire". On Tuesday, the first steam train in about 50 years called at Melksham, taking people out for a day trip to Canterbury. On Wednesday, the Department for Transport announced that Wiltshire Council's LSTF (Local Susutainable Transport ...
2012-07-14
(longer)
3786Improving Wiltshire Rail Offer - it WILL be happening
27th June 2012 - The Department of Transport announced that Wiltshire Council was successful in its £4.25m bid which will help boost the economy and encourage people to use sustainable transport. The bid, entitled "Improving Wiltshire's Rail Offer" is under the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The ...
2012-06-30
(longer)
3784Steam train calls at Melksham - Pictures
To my knowledge, this morning was the first time in nearly 50 years that a steam train stopped at Melksham - Steam Dreams running an excursion from Westbury to Canterbury. Midweek seems an unlikely day of the week to attract custom - hardly "prime time" with many people who might wish to go at work, ...
2012-06-30
 
3761Melksham - placed 2254 out of 2255. What can be done about it?
From January to March, consultation inputs were required by the Department for Transport with regard to what "stakeholders" wanted to be included in the next franchise for operation of train services in the Thames Valley, Wessex, the Cotswolds, the West and South West, and South Wales. I understand ...
2012-06-16
(longer)
3736Abstraction
Abstraction - the provision of additional goods or services in a new way, such that they take over goods or services already supplied, in spite of those other goods or services continuing to be supplied. Something I've come across quite a bit, and been thinking on recently. Perhaps my definition is ...
2012-06-02
(longer)
3728The future needs for rail services to Melksham - change needed; current service an insult
Do you want to attend an event in London on a Sunday? There's museums, sporting fixtures and so much more, and what better way than to go by train to London. The requirement was rather proven by last year's trial service over just eight sundays when a train ran from Westbury at 07:30 with a London ...
2012-05-12
(longer)
3699Bristol 50? Bristol 25?
There's an urban area round major cities - a natural commuter area. And these days that natural surround area is regarded as being 50 miles. Indeed, I understand that the government is looking to more local control over public transport - in the style of PTE (Passenger Transport Executives) perhaps ...
2012-04-21
 
3671Future train services in Wiltshire - please write in to support a better service
* Future of rail services in Wiltshire until 2026 (upcoming franchise) - currently under consultation. See http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2011-36/. * Currently 2 trains a day each way, Swindon <-> Salisbury via Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Dilton Marsh and Warminster. Poorly ...
2012-03-31
 
3668Kings Cross - new concourse - between Python in Cambridge and Objective C in London
What's there to see? Something new over there? The new concourse at King's Cross opened on Monday ... and a spare hour as I'm passing through has allowed me to look around, take pictures, and recharge my batteries. And to share my pictures. The biggest pleasure? Seeing happy, smiling, chatting ...
2012-03-22
 
3642Wiltshire Travel Times - Chippenham, Trowbridge, Salisbury and other places too
The three major largest urban areas in Wiltshire are Salisbury (a city in the south of the county), Trowbridge (the county town, in the west of the county) and Chippenham (in the north of the county). All are part of the Wiltshire Unitary Authority area, with many facilities (public and private) available ...
2012-03-10
 
3631Getting around Dublin by public transport - some observations
Following on from my recent visit to Cambridge, I'm now in Dublin and making some transport notes. Arriving in Dublin ... via the "Jonathan Swift" - described as the 100 minute fast ferry, but currently taking 150 minutes because of some issues they've been having. It's mostly car passengers, with ...
2012-03-10
 
3119TransWilts - some things to see and do
Eight great places with plenty of things to do ... Swindon is the home of the National Trust, of the Steam Museum, of the Outlet Centre ... these are well known. You can also see the Museum of Computing, The Oasis Leisure Centre, and the County Ground. At Chippenham, the station is close to the town ...
2012-03-08
 
3626There is so much to see travelling by train
These pictures were all taken today. I started from home (which if anyone doesn't know) is at Melksham in Wiltshire, and travelled to Dublin. 0: 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: a: b: c: d: e: f: g: Can you put them in the order in which I took them? (This is a challenge for the members ...
2012-02-26
 
3601Rail Travel - has it become more unreliable?
It times it almost seems like railway travel to the West of London is like travel in the wild west. When I started a thread on the "First Great Western Coffee Shop" this morning, commenting on all the people moaning about train problems, I knew I was traveling up to London and back later in the day. ...
2012-02-04
 
3579Transport in Cambridgeshire - seen by an outside observer. What can Wiltshire learn?
A week in Cambridge - traveling there, and around when I needed, without a car - and a chance to look, listen and learn a bit more about the wider transport issues of that city. Some may be lessons for us in Wiltshire, others may be items that I simply say "won't work here because of ...". Between ...
2012-01-28
(longest)
3565What would an appropriate train service on the TransWilts line mean
The Department for Transport is currently consulting on the shape of rail services in the South West of England for the next 15 years (2013 to 2028). There is a very strong case for them to add to the current services of the TransWilts line (see map), which are infrequent and ill-timed for most potential ...
2012-01-07
 
3564I wish I was not a special case
On 18th January, I'm going to an evening meeting about rail services in the old West Wilts area - the towns of Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon, Melksham, Warminster and Westbury, And being a meeting about railways, it's located convenient to one of the stations - Warminster - and the invite includes a ...
2011-12-31
 
3550Provide a useable train service, and people will use it!
Yesterday, I went down to Melksham station to pick up a delegate arriving from Ely off the 15:48 (that's our first train southbound on a Saturday - the second and final one is at 21:34). A little surprised to see that there were only two spaces unoccupied at the station car park, that the disable space ...
2011-12-17
 
3538Santa Train - another successful trip - 4th December 2011
Today was the "Santa Special" outing from Melksham ... some 140 people gather at Melksham Station ... The train was especially extended for us ... up to three carrages. And thank godness - for we would have been tightly squeezed with less. Santa had gifts for all the children - and of course the ...
2011-12-04
 
3111TransWilts Link - Days out from Swindon to Weymouth?
Fancy a day trip to Weymouth? Over the past few days, I've been looking at possible timetables for an improved "TransWilts" service - with a particular view to connections beyond the area. Call it "TransWilts Link" if you like. There was a very great deal going on in the five weeks before Christmas ...
2011-11-12
 
3493West Wilts Rail User Group - Walk yesterday from Bradford-on-Avon to Trowbridge
The purpose of our journeys by train are many and varied. And the West Wilts Rail user's group (web site [here]) exists to "give a voice to West Wiltshire Rail Users on timetables and their concerns about the general service." That's normally through a series of meetings at which guest speakers appear ...
2011-10-23
(longer)
3487Public transport - road and rail
Following on from some of our resource re-indexing .... the pictures above are those that I'm using on the public transport (Rail) page and on the public Transport (Road) page. ...
2011-10-19
 
3486How important is public transport to people in the Melksham area?
The "Wiltshire Intelligence Network" (based at County Hall, Trowbridge), ran a "Sense of Place" survey in 2008 asking people about there local areas, at the time the Wiltshire was going Unitary and the area boards were being set up. You can find a link to the surveys, area by area, [here] Question ...
2011-10-19
 
3452Which or ATOC - who reads train fares right?
"Which", the magazine of the Consumer's association, tests out the train ticketting system of the railways in somw way - or does a customer survey - at least once a year. And they always find anomolies, things that are hard to understand, customers who are missold, or some things like that. In response, ...
2011-09-22
 
3434Sundays - and over eating
It's now 2 weeks since the last of our extra summer trains on the TransWilts line, which provided a new opportunity for many for a day out. On the final Sunday, 440 people travelled on the extra morning trains, with around 250 of them returning on this train - the 19:37 Westbury to Swindon, and around ...
2011-09-11
 
3408Journey home by public transport for a Bank Holiday
For past courses I've given in Cambridge, I've chosen to travel by car. The station in Cambridge is one side of town, and most of the people I train are situated on t'other. But this week - seeing as I had to travel up from Melksham on Monday after a day's hard work, and then back on Friday evening ...
2011-08-29
(longer)
3410A review of the Summer Sunday extra trains on the TransWilts line
On Sunday 3rd July, then every Sunday from 17th July to 28th August inclusive, First Great Western ran an additional train at 07:30 from Westbury to Swindon, and at 08:20 from Swindon to Westbury, from where it carried on as the regular 09:12 service to Weymouth. The service was described as a "trial ...
2011-08-29
(longer)
3403Last chance this summer - Swindon and North Wiltshire to Weymouth by through train
Your Last chance this summer - day trip by through train from Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth. Sunday, 28th August - from Swindon at 08:20, from Chippenham at 08:35, from Melksham at 08:45 and from Trowbridge at 08:55. Swindon to Weymouth day return fare just £15.60! Arrives in ...
2011-08-23
 
3392What costs 8.20 from Melksham, or 22.30 via Chippenham?
If I were to commute to Swindon for a day's work from Melksham, I would much prefer to travel by train from my home town of Melksham. It's kinder on the environment, and it's kinder on my blood pressure (I can relax on the train but should not relax at the wheel), and it's kinder to others on the road ...
2011-08-13
 
3378New product - ensuring that supply matches demand
When a new product is brought to market, there will be a few people who buy it straight away - the latent market that has just been waiting for that product. Then there may be a bit of a surge as they tell their friends, before sales drop off to a more steady state level. It can be difficult to judge ...
2011-08-03
(longer)
3371From Wiltshire to Weymouth on Sundays
There are three trains on Summer Sunday mornings this year ... From SWINDON at 08:20, CHIPPENHAM at 08:35, MELKSHAM at 08:45, TROWBRIDGE at 08:55 and WESTBURY at 09:12, getting to Weymouth at 10:42 From TROWBRIDGE at 09:42 and WESTBURY at 10:13, getting to Weymouth at 13:10 From TROWBRIDGE at 10:01, ...
2011-07-27
 
3370Standing Challenge
Crammed into the 18:06 Paddington to Frome ... trying the "can I take a picture from my laptop and post before Twyford" challenge. Yep - still under the wires - isn't the technology great. ...
2011-07-26
(short)
3364Dogs Legs on the Dogleg
On Sunday, I travelled from Westbury to Chippenham by train - on the 19:37 service which gets into Chippenham at 20:02 - that's 25 minutes. I returned on the 20:26 train, which involved a change at Bath Spa - I arrived there at 20:40 and left at 21:07, arriving in Westbury at 21:40 - that's 74 minutes. Why ...
2011-07-20
 
3362Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth - Sunday Train Service Starts
Sunday, 17th July 2011 was the first full day of the trial TransWilts line extra summer sunday train, and I went along to take pictures. The train leaves Westbury at 07:30, calls at Trowbridge (07:35), Melksham (07:45) and Chippenham (07:55) on its way to Swindon, from where there's a connection to ...
2011-07-19
 
3336Efficient travel - from Melsksham to Edinburgh by Sleeper Train
I wanted to spend as much of last weekend as possible in Melksham, but I needed to be on site in Edinburgh at ten to nine, fresh to give a week's course ... so I didn't want to drive all the way. Heavy luggage (a dozen manuals, 4 computers) precluded flying ... so I ended up taking the "Caledonian Sleeper" ...
2011-06-26
 
3331Comparing Alloa and Melksham - stations and services
Alloa is a town in central Scotland. The 2001 census describes it havinga population of just under 19,000 - so at that point it was slightly smaller than Melksham. I was there last night, and it's mostly an old town, so I'm thinking that the population has not grown significantly. Like Melksham, Alloa ...
2011-06-23
 
3328Summer Sundays - days out by train from Swindon on the TransWilts
Extra trains are running on the TransWilts line early on Sunday mornings in July and August, and on certain dates other activities are being arranged in conjunction with them allowing for the following days out ... Sundays 3rd July and 17th July to 28th August 2011 Click on map to see it larger in ...
2011-06-19
(longer)
3318Summer Sunday Trains - outings from Swindon, Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury
Extra trains - service trial on the norther section of the TransWilts line this summer - Sundays 3rd July and 17th July to 28th August. Operated by First Great Western, at their regular fares and booked through their regular booking system (the trains are alraedy online and tickets being sold at the ...
2011-06-05
 
3274Small scale improvement - big scale gain. And they CAN be done with local knowledge
Full credit to a politician who looks at the tactics as well as the strategy. The strategy is the longer term stuff, and where we're headed - and it comes with a relatively low initial cost in the ramp-up phase of some project, with what used to be called a high "green shield stamp" rating in votes at ...
2011-05-02
(longer)
3273Wanted - a look to the future
I saw an advert yesterday (http://www.publictenders.net/tender/100424) in which First Great Western are looking for companies interested in "the refresh and/or conversion of high speed rolling stock. This shall include some or all of the following: a. class 180 high speed rolling stock refresh and exterior ...
2011-05-02
 
3198TransWilts rail - coming together, wanted and needed
You'll have seen a slight gap in the blog ... as this has been a mad week on rail campaigning, culminating in two meetings coming up tomorrow - a launch / update for businesses at 10 a.m. and a working group meeting on the business and community case document at midday. And I'm not reporting "the half ...
2011-03-14
 
3187Past and Present - Melksham Station
I was struck by the contrast in a picture I took at Melksham station in the summer of 2005, and one taken 5 and a half years later from a simialar viewpoint. In the summer of 2005, the train ran behind the derelict warehouses that used to be home to Spencer's / GEC Mechnical Handling. Apart from the ...
2011-03-04
(longer)
3178The cost of roadworks on the economy of our town - 1800 pounds per hour?
There are roadworks - again - on the busy A350 road from Chippenham to Melksham. And when we arrived back there yesterday, mid-morning, we decided to take a taxi for the final 8 (AA distance by road) miles. The alternatives were just too awful, even with our green 'credentials' - a walk with luggage ...
2011-02-20
 
3176Comparing German, Dutch and British Railways
"Sorry about the small delay to your journey this morning. This is waiting for platform to become available at Manningtree Station. As soon as I have more information I'll pass it on to you". Yes - we're back in the UK and the very first train we're on is delayed. I'm not sure if that's a co-incidence ...
2011-02-19
 
3171Train and boat journey - the passenger accommodation
For this week's course, I've taken public transport all the way to destination. So may train pictures show the outside of the train - spotter's pictures, if you like - so I varied it a bit on my journey and present you with internal shots ... ...
2011-02-15
 
3167Can I take my dog by train? And other questions
Two young ladies were standing on the platform as the train they were catching pulled in to Swindon, and as it drew to a halt they walked a few paces to one of the doors. Where they stood and waited. Other doors were opened, people getting out and in, but still the two young ladies stood there, waiting. Catching ...
2011-02-13
 
3161TransWilts rail - what picture represents us
Yesterday and today, I have been working in a team to put together major content for the TransWilts Rail web site. ASIDE - if you have not yet completed our survey and you live or travel in Wiltshire, please do so ... NOW, [here - separate window opens] End of aside. My role has been largely to work ...
2011-02-10
 
3141Wiltshire Rail services - a golden opportunity
This year, some small decisions will be made on future rail services. But they'll be big, big decisions as far a the TransWilts rail line is concerned. They'll have the most profound effect - for years to come - on the communities of the TransWilts corridor. Will the road from Trowbridge to the M4 ...
2011-01-21
 
3135A time to be brave? We should ask for what is best for our area.
I don't like asking for things. And when I ask for something - especially something that someone else is going to have to work at or pay for, I've a natutal tendency to ask for a minimum. Many of us are like that - and so it's been that, in our striving for an appropriate train service, we've compromised. • ...
2011-01-16
 
3113Trowbridge and Melksham to Chippenham - more roadworks, even slower journey over the winter
I understand that Wessex Water are going to be replacing a water main in Beanacre from mid January until mid March, and that will disrupt traffic on the A350 - the major road which links Trowbridge and Melksham to Chippenham and the rest of the country via the M4. I didn't have to look back very far ...
2011-01-03
 
3114Transwilts Link - both Wiltshire and beyond
Here's a personal list. Places I've traveled to this year - and they're all places that have not been purely for pleasure. Acton. Antrim. Avebury. Bank (London). Bath. Belfast. Birkenhead. Bradford-on-Avon. Bristol. Bristol Airport. Cambridge. Chippenham. Devizes. Dublin. Glasgow. Heathrow ...
2011-01-03
(longer)
3080Santa Special - rather more special than usual - December 2010
Headline First Great Western provided an intercity 125 train last Sunday on the 17:05 from Westbury to Swindon. This train formed the Santa Special trip organised by the Melksham Railway Development Group - with 80 adults and children joining the train at Melksham for the ride to Swindon and back. Santa ...
2010-12-07
 
3079TransWilts Rail News ... Melksham (Santa Special) Edition ... 5th December 2010
The TransWilts railway line links Salisbury, Trowbridge, Chippenham and Swindon ... via Warminster, Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Melksham. Trains are sparse on the section from Trowbridge via Melksham to Swindon - just 2 each way a day - and various groups such as Save The Train, the Melksham Railway ...
2010-12-05
(longer)
3033Rail services back to Radstock?
Radstock used to be a hub of railway activity - with the "Somerset and Dorset" carrying expresses such as "The Pines" from Manchester to Bournemouth through one station (Radstock North), and the line from Frome to Bristol via Radstock (West) and Pensford the other - the two routes parallel through the ...
2010-12-02
(longest)
3031Get all your ducks in a row ... and they may turn into swans
What do I need to provide a train service? A Railway line in working passenger order Railway stations in working passenger order on that line A Train operator willing to provide a service A Train to provide that service Significant Passenger flows that would use the service Paths over the line ...
2010-11-07
 
2486Santa Special - Trowbridge and Melksham to Swindon
Santa Claus will be on the "TransWilts" train from Trowbridge and Melksham to Swindon on Sunday, 6th December, organized by the Melksham Railway Development Group. Santa's been a regular visitor to the line in early December for a number of years, but this year he's extending his ride to start from Trowbridge ...
2010-11-03
 
3017Seventh day traveller on the six day railway
On Sunday, I travelled from Melksham to Norwich, and on to the University there, where I've been working for a couple of days. These days, the UK operates seven days a week ... but we seem to have a six day public transport system. On a Sunday,public transport is set in the past with below-par service ...
2010-10-29
(longer)
2955Melksham Railway Station - new information point
I collected a Perl course delegate off the train at Melksham station yesterday evening, and I was delighted to see that the new help point has been fitted. The help point is very much more obvious than the old blue box, is "signed" clearly, and is located at what we consider to be the right place - ...
2010-10-21
 
3006Santa announcement, 5th December 2010, Melksham
On Sunday, 5th December Santa Claus will be on the 17:15 First Great Western Train from Melksham to Swindon, and on the 18:15 train coming back. He'll be handing our presents to the children on the train, and there will be minced pies and a seasonal drink for the adults and soft drinks for the children. ...
2010-10-20
 
2982Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026
This is a seed document that I've prepared as a pump-priming exercise to help the Community Area Partnership (at the request of the vicechair of the steering group) and other associated organisations think ahead towards what they would like to see in the 2026 area plan. It comes in three main sections: a) ...
2010-10-03
(longest)
2954Railway meetings, trips and meetups this autumn
Friday 17th September, 19:30, Bridge House, Trowbridge WWRUG - Tim Pearce, Go! Co-operative presentation, Q&A Friday 1st October, 19:30, Melksham Town Hall MRDG - Regular meeting Saturday 2nd October, 09:30, either Westbury or Melksham TWCRP - Working group meeting Wednesday 6th October, 18:00, Plymouth CoffeeShop ...
2010-09-14
 
2634London to and from Melksham by public transport
Melksham is a town with a population of around 25,000 people located around a hundred miles to the West of London. It's the home of Well House Consultants, our open source training company, and many other businesses too ... and a great place to visit for a few days away as well. London to Melksham and ...
2010-08-28
 
2931Syncronise - software, trains, and buses. Please!
To get from my home to the Divisional Police HQ on another side of Melksham, I can take a five minute bus ride on the X72 or 272, change at the Market Place onto the 234 or X34, and ride for another five minutes. So for a meeting at 19:00, I can catch a bus just after 18:00 to be there in good time, ...
2010-08-24
 
2930Walk - Tilehurst to Pangborne
It's going to be mostly pictures today ... a Thamseside walk - to Tilehurst by train, alongside the river with friends from the First Great Western Coffee Shop, then back from Pangbourne. Passengers unload at Swindon from the 09:05 Westbury to Swindon via Melksham service. Even though the journey ...
2010-08-22
 
2919London to Calne, Corsham, Melksham, Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham by public Transport
Headlines ... * National Express have suspended services to Box and Corsham for August. * National Express have introduced a new daily Calne to London service. * First Great Western will introduce through Bradford-on-Avon to London trains, 12/2010 * In spite of the Network Rail report recommending an ...
2010-08-20
 
2908How Green is my train?
The other evening, I was asked if I had figures that compared the CO2 emissions of a train and a bus. Well - I had seen diagrams that showed that a train is significantly better per passenger mile, but I didn't have the figures. I do now: Train - 60g per passenger km Bus - 89g per passenger km Average ...
2010-08-07
 
2901Ambassador or Anorak?
Belatedly from the weekend, I've been going through a whole load of pictures taken for "library use" in rail campaigning ... and it had me musing as to the way that rail enthusiasts seem to be far more concerned with the types of trains and stock operation rather than the suitability of service. It ...
2010-08-05
 
2855Train Services - Melksham to Bath and Bristol (and airport)
One of the most popular journeys from Melksham is to Bath (about 12 miles away) and Bristol (around 25 miles). Here's a complete timetable for Melksham to Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Meads for Summer, 2010 (probably unchanged to December 2010, but please check) Monday to Friday Melksham06:4107:1719:1119:47 ...
2010-07-06
 
2808From home to Nurnberg - journey pictures
Rather that put the whole "slide show" of my journey last weekend on the blog, I'll just post up the one picture. If you want to see the rest of them [click here]. ...
2010-06-13
(short)
2696Garlic bread without garlic
Have you ever served up a meal to discover you've left something in the over that should have been an integral part of the meal? I know I have, and I did the equivalent thing at the end of last night's meeting where between 40 and 50 people turned out on a damp Friday night from all over Wiltshire (and ...
2010-03-27
(longer)
2678Reaching out to the community - a good case for support
Over the past few weeks, I've attended a number of town and parish council meetings in Wiltshire. I've sat in and listened to talk about flooding and drainage at Dilton Marsh, about who should be the next deputy Mayor in Westbury, and to signage issues at Warminster last night. And it has struck me ...
2010-03-16
 
2662Is Melksham public transport actually used?
'''There never seems to be anybody waiting at the bus stop behind my house when I look out there - so I ask "why have it ... why run the buses that call there?" ''' - comment made to me by a local councilor, who's not a user of local or regional public transport Here are two similar views of a public ...
2010-03-08
 
2664Oliver Cromwell at Bristol Temple Meads
I've been to Taunton today - a meeting of TravelWatch SouthWest which I'll be documenting elsewhere. But I couldn't resist this picture of Oliver Cromwell - Britannia class 4-6-2 locomotive no. 70013 - which was in Bristol Temple Meads on our return and set off from there on a special trip, named ...
2010-03-06
(short)
2658Save the Train - a significant change in approach
It's nearly five years since I got involved in "Save the Train" and public transport - mainly by rail - in and across Wiltshire. Although local support has always been near 100%, in those early days we felt we were swimming almost alone against a tide of officialdom, calling for a TransWilts service ...
2010-03-05
 
2626On Malachite Green
"Malachite" - Copper Carbonate. But know to me as a rather rich, bright, exotic green colour that's so bright and rich it's rarely seen. I moved to the south east of London in 1959, at a very young age - with no car for our day to day family life (and that was no great hardship), we used the southern ...
2010-02-08
 
2627Saturdays out from Melksham - to Oxford, to Didcot or to Swindon
Fancy a day out with the family from Melksham to Oxford, to Swindon or to Didcot? We took a train trip on Saturday to Oxford from Melksham Station ... three adults and one dog - total return fare to Oxford £24.15. The train left Melksham station (free parking) at 09:18. We bought our ticket ...
2010-02-07
 
2557Rail Campaign - response to core consultation
Melksham Railway Development Group - Response to Wiltshire Council's Core Strategy Consultation, December 2009 Associated maps Base map - current and approved http://www.melkshamchamber.org.uk/MelkshamCoreNow.pdf Base map - First Draft - where we may be going http://www.melkshamchamber.org.uk/MelkshamCoreDraft.pdf [others ...
2010-01-13
(longest)
2568Forums for your Melksham and open source discussions
Do you have questions you want to ask? Views about Melksham, First Great Western Train services or Open Source languages that you would like to post? If you do / have, you'll be very welcome to join our forums / communities - listed below. Just a word, first, though. There's a minority of internet ...
2010-01-10
 
2556Railway Station Survey - please complete today or tomorrow
What does your railway station lack? What will it need to help it cope and remain fit for purpose over the next 10 years? Should a whole shopping experience be built at your station, encouraging people to use the facilities even if not trvelling, or are there more basic things needed like better information ...
2009-12-30
 
2533Five guests, three groups, one car
Five people staying with us ... in three groups ... with one car between them in the car park. That's a statistic I noticed last week at our five room hotel here in Melksham - and it struck me "what a sensible balance". Two of the guests had arrived in the car, two by airport taxi from Heathrow, and ...
2009-12-12
 
2522Integrated public Transport - what could be done for Melksham
Connections between trains and buses at Melksham station do not exist at present - each mode of transport carefully ignores the other even though most of the services are provided by the same public transport provider. The 271/272/273 to Bath stops near Avonside, then runs non-stop past the station ...
2009-12-09
 
2513Wiltshire Council purchases Melksham Station Land
Wiltshire Council has purchased the land at Melksham Station that the BRB Residuary body has been looking to dispose of - see [here] and what EXCELLENT news this is. It means that the land is safeguarded to provide facilities when a better rail service is provided - in the words of Richard Gamble, ...
2009-12-09
 
2511The story of the railway land at Melksham Station
Once upon a time, a long long time ago, Melksham Station was a thriving operation with two platforms, a reasonable service, and goods yards for general traffic, and for heavy industry such as Spencer's, near the railway. But that was a long, long time ago. In the dark days of Dr Beeching, the station ...
2009-12-09
 
2529Santa Special, 2009
Exhausting .. but rewarding ... day It must be nearly Christmas Pictures ... added on 7th December ...
2009-12-08
(short)
2477By train ...
•Want to see this in plain text? Click [here] •Want to see this with pictures? Click [here] It can be done ... I was invited to a meeting at The Sugar Loaf yesterday evening - that's a pub in St Mark's Road, Easton, Bristol - a couple of miles out from the City Centre. And I thought I ...
2009-10-25
(longer)
2473Exploring Old Railways
I've got a certain inquisitiveness about Industrial Archeology, an interest in transport with something of a current specialization in rail - so it's no surprise that I'll spot odd railway-like structures dotted around the countryside and wonder "what is/ was that?". The old water tower at Druid's Lodge ...
2009-10-24
 
2457Railway Arithmetic
1 + 1 = 1 If you have an early morning round trip out and back to a residential / suburb, and a similar evening round trip, you're just providing a single commute opportunity to the origin point of the train. 2 + 2.5 = 8 If you take the two round trips of the first example, and add two more round trips ...
2009-10-17
 
2438Listening to The Minister
You've got to admire the guy - Paul Clark MP, Undersecretary of State, arrived at Saturday's TravelWatch South West meeting during the chairman's introduction. And he was the first speaker. Without visual aids - with just his name and role projected all the time - he spoke for 30 minutes without any ...
2009-10-04
 
2395From Lymington by train - last of the slammers
It seems like half a lifetime ago (probably because it was half a lifetime ago) that I commuted to school on the electric trains of the Southern Region of British Rail(ways) ... trains with doors that the passengers opened and closed for themselves, just like your door at home, without the aid of electrical ...
2009-09-06
(longer)
2391Great Western Route Utilisation Strategy - Draft for Consultation
A call from Brunel Radio in Swindon yesterday asked for my to give brief comment on the "Draft Great Western RUS" that had been published 4 hours earlier. But what is a RUS, why is it of interest to local radio listeners {{ and how do people expect me to make meaningful comment on 192 pages within hours ...
2009-09-03
 
2372Public Transport from (and to) Melksham on Sundays
I walked into the Town Centre in Melksham at around 9 O'clock this morning - a bright sunny morning and it was (as you would expect) quietish, but it certainly wasn't deadly quiet. A young gentlemen approach me, asking me for directions to the train station. If someone asks me for directions, I'll ...
2009-08-23
 
2328Melksham - no trains, no southbound buses through the town
There have been NO TRAINS AT ALL to Melksham for a week. And the town centre is closed to southbound traffic, sending the buses around the bypass, and the local "we know where to go" vehicles around the suburban streets. All of which does precious little immediate good for the businesses. When Bath ...
2009-08-08
 
2318For Lua Programmers AND for Town Planners
I'm always happy to be able to make multiple use of the same piece of work, and so it is with an example written last week. READ THIS SIDE ... if you are a Lua or game programmer I was asked to provide an exercise during the Lua course that related to game playing - where a series of elements (of ...
2009-08-04
(longer)
2268Westbury Bypass Refused - looking forward
The report of The Public Enquiry into the proposed Westbury Bypass was published a couple of days ago, together with the Secretary of State's decision based on that report. As someone who attended the enquiry briefly and made a statement, I have received a copy of the various papers from the Department ...
2009-07-04
 
2133Bigger and better this year!
The film Jaws was a classic ... but Jaws II didn't reach the same heights. I heard a lot about Oceans 11 but not so much about Oceans 12. And where, oh where, is Titanic 2 A really good film has all the director's best ideas thrown at it, leaving the crumbs for the sequel ... and the sequel's market ...
2009-04-20
 
2057Train and Coach fares from London (and airports) to Melksham
Advise on travel to Melksham for training course customers arriving via London. The advise is good for people coming to Melksham to visit other businesses too ... If you fly into London's Heathrow airport, the best way to Melksham would actually be by express coach [bus] rather than by train as it would ...
2009-02-26
 
2042Wiltshire Rail Service Update
Those of you who have seen my involvement in looking for an improved rail service across Wiltshire may feel I've been very low-key about it of late. Maybe - but there *have* been some things going on in the background. And you can expect to see more coming up in the future. Here's a starter - a ...
2009-02-15
(longer)
2026Melksham Climate Friendly Group
It's somewhat ironic that I left last night's meeting of Melksham Climate Friendly Group in a bit of a blizzard. Many familiar faces, a great deal of knowledge, and a group each of whom is taking a real interest in some aspect of the subject in their own way, with a strong and effective chair pulling ...
2009-02-08
 
2024Carry on Training - in spite of the weather
Public Transport Chaos yesterday - the newspaper headlines tell us of the London bus system shut down, and our own status report page on First Great Western's train services show that they too had major issues (but congratulations to them for managing to run even a reduced service). But our training ...
2009-02-03
 
524Santa comes to Melksham
Yesterday, we travelled up from Melksham to Swindon on the 13:35 train and returned on the 17:50. Over 100 pictures taken, many of excited children with Santa Claus who somehow had arrived on the following train (so the rumours WERE true!). On the return journey, there were so many people on the train ...
2009-01-28
 
1303Heading Upstate New York
A bridge over the Hudson, from the Albany train We met Linda - probably not her real name - on the railroad up from New York to Albany on Sunday. She boarded the crowded train behind us, and, looking for a seat, sat opposite us in one of the four seat bays, with a polite "may I sit here?". A quiet ...
2009-01-22
 
1291Day trip to Weymouth
What better than a day at the seaside - Weymouth is less that 2 hours from Melksham by train, and it was a beautiful day. Thanks to First Great Western's "Group Save" ticket, we can make the trip at a sensible price. Of course - there was the small issue of the first train from Melksham being at ...
2009-01-22
 
1999How low can you sink?
"Graham chose to compare Melksham to Dyce because ... " wrote Lee, and came up with some very good reasons why I might have chosen Dyce to make my railway station comparison, and to show just how hard done by Melksham is.[link] But Lee gives me too much credit - FAR too much credit. I can, quite frankly, ...
2009-01-18
 
803Not shouting
I'm NOT shouting about our Save the Train Campaign and asking for your support today. I understand that final negotiations are still taking place, and that political questions asked should be helping to ensure that our case is very well known to the decision makers. I have sent out a few updates on ...
2009-01-14
 
1033Empty at Easleigh, Missing at Melksham, Overflowing at Oldfield
"The Department for Transport are quite upset at pictures of trains stored at Eastleigh that have appeared, and will probably store units that aren't in use in more secret locations in the future". ...
2009-01-04
 
1964Why hasnt the fiasco been put right
Management Summary - TransWilts Train service, linking largest Wiltshire population centres, growing rapidly but cut back to just 2 trains a day. This is Article 3 of a series of 3. Article 1 - Background to the TransWilts Train Fiasco Article 2 - How much does a train service actually cost? Article ...
2008-12-31
(longer)
1965How much does a train service actually cost
Management Summary - TransWilts Train service, linking largest Wiltshire population centres, growing rapidly but cut back to just 2 trains a day. This is Article 2 of a series of 3. Article 1 - Background to the TransWilts Train Fiasco Article 2 - How much does a train service actually cost? Article ...
2008-12-31
(longer)
1966Background to the TransWilts Train Fiasco
Management Summary - TransWilts Train service, linking largest Wiltshire population centres, growing rapidly but cut back to just 2 trains a day. This is Article 1 of a series of 3. Article 1 - Background to the TransWilts Train Fiasco Article 2 - How much does a train service actually cost? Article ...
2008-12-31
(longer)
1905A Gold Star for First Great Western Customer Service
Regular readers will know that I've been running something of a campaign for the return of an appropriate train service in Melksham, and that First Great Western (who took over a service of 5 each way per day on 1st April 2006 and reduced it to just 2 dreadfully timed trains the following December) are ...
2008-11-24
 
184830th November - Santa Trip from Melksham
On Sunday, 30th November, Santa Claus will be travelling on the train from Melksham to Swindon and back, and handing out presents to all the children. The train leaves Melksham station at a quarter past five, and will be back just before 7 O'Clock. Tickets (7 pounds for adults and 3 pounds for children) ...
2008-11-02
 
1858Camera with night vision, youth with no vision
I'm rather pleased with my current digital camera - it's able to take good evening and night shots of the sort I would scarcely have thought possible a couple of years ago. This image is at Westbury Station last Sunday evening, when the Portsmouth to Cardiff trunk service had been replaced by a bus ...
2008-11-02
 
1757Preserved railways - struggling to the future?
After Dr Beeching and with the demise of steam traction on our mainline railways, a wide selection of preserved lines (re)opened using the old track, or the old trackbed where it had to be relayed. These lines had been closed under the Railway's Rationalisations plans, so they tended not to have had ...
2008-08-17
(longer)
1729Back from the future
It's good to take a strategic look ahead from time to time - not a look at the immediate tactics of the next step or two along the way, but a look far into the future, and see where we will be in many years time. A good friend of mine (a Doctor) who is something of a Timelord has downloaded the following ...
2008-08-01
(longest)
1708A Train Service Update for Melksham Party in the Park
Yesterday was Melksham's "Party in the Park" and carnival, where it seems the whole town turns out to see the stalls in the afternoon, the parade in the early evening, and the concert and fireworks after that - or at least to attend some of the events. Last year, the Melksham Railway Development Group ...
2008-07-14
 
527Greater Western Franchise Awarded
The big news today - the First group has been awarded the Greater Western Franchise to operate all train services to the West of London for the next seven years including all the expresses right through to the small but rapidly growing (or it has been) local line through our town of Melksham. I'm unclear ...
2008-06-10
 
521Proof needed? Please just use common sense!
I'm fighting to save the train service to Melksham - it's under threat at the very time that its use and the town are growing rapidly - a victim of a complex set of artificial circumstances and decisions that defy logic taken afar. As part of the my campaign, I am suggesting that a reliable hourly ...
2008-06-10
 
1616Not daring to be an anorak
It's two class 20 locomotives on the front of a rake of early Mark 2 coaches, with some later mark 2 coaches and a class 57 on the rear, passing through Melksham this morning on an Oxford to Weymouth excursion train. It was only just on time as the single line at Thingley was cleared 5 late by the ...
2008-04-21
 
1567Melksham - Swindon. Train v Bus v Car
I'm going to an event called "Social Enterprise and the railways" tomorrow - and I'm Driving there - to Swindon. How silly can you get! But it's a case of the head ruling the heart. I could have left on the direct train at 19:50 tonight. I could catch the hourly bus to Chippenham then the hourly ...
2008-03-10
 
1558Getting somewhere with the train service
We may be getting somewhere! If you've noticed that I've been a bit quiet on this blog of late, it's because all H**l has broken loose in all sorts of areas, one of which of which is the campaign for an improved train service here abouts. I'm off to speak to a public meeting on the subject in half ...
2008-02-28
(short)
1530Railway Acronyms and Abbreviations
It's only when someone asked me "what does THAT mean" when I realised how much jargon I was speaking - how many abbreviations and three letter acronyms had crept into my talk on the Save the Train and ...
2008-02-03
 
1452Santa on the train to Melksham
Today was the day that the Melksham Railway Development Group ran their Santa Special trip to Swindon. As usual, even a strengthened public train was crowded, but everyone had a great day none the less! Santa visited all the children on the train - and our party today included 33 children! Santa ...
2007-12-02
 
1428Travel Across Wiltshire - the game
What better way to learn about efficient public transport than to play a game to get you around from one place to another? And what better way to generate a new Tk canvas example, and a new PHP page too, than to prepare such a game on our web site. The board looks like this: If you select this link ...
2007-11-13
 
1424Closer than you think - the next step
"What's the next step in your campaign?" asked the lady from the local paper when she called to check up on a [train] story last night. "I'm meeting the Labour Party candidate for the new Chippenham seat in about an hour and 20 minutes" was my reply ... and I suspect that she was expecting a less immediate ...
2007-11-09
 
1382First Great Western - information for customers
With some of the oldest trains in regular public use on the railway network, and a very high premium to pay for their franchise to the government, the First Group doesn't have an easy task with their "FGW" or "First Great Western" franchise under which they operate nearly all the trains in a wedge out ...
2007-10-21
 
1358Look 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 ...
2007-09-19
 
1314Business travel by train in the USA
The choice of the train The US is the land where the automobile is King ... and where businessmen fly from city to city, State to State from meeting to meeting. So why - when we visited the USA on what was primarily a business trip last week - did Lisa and I choose to get around by train? Because ...
2007-08-22
(longest)
1274Radio coverage for railway issues
Do I just get rather blasé about things at times? Maybe ... a phone call to return, and it turns out to be a BBC interview looking for comment prior to the release of tomorrow's rail white paper. 40 seconds to put a case. Let me see - from a customer's viewpoint, I would like to see it leading ...
2007-07-23
 
1273Melksham or Weymouth? Meal or day out?
re: Weymouth So says the title of an email corespondence that's going on at the moment, concerning plans to meet up for an Indian Meal with friends in Melksham this evening. Isn't it amazing how off-topic we can get at times. Let me tell you about Weymouth, though. We're arranging a special trip ...
2007-07-23
 
1228Some progress on the train campaign
I try not to bore readers of this page TOO often with my tales of local train services (or the lack of them at appropriate times) here in Melksham. Whilst it's something that I am involved with in various ways, it's not really "Open source tips and techniques", nor friends and familiy life - having ...
2007-06-12
(longer)
1139Overcrowded trains around Bristol
A Bank Holiday trip to Bristol yesterday, with our local train company providing a service that wasn't substantial enough to meet the customer demand. Temperatures raised, passengers denied access, already-late trains delayed further as people tried to get in and out at each stop. The 08:46 from Weymouth ...
2007-04-08
 
1097Train and business balls all in the air!
A "mad" weekend coming up ... FSB meeting last night, Wiltshire Business of the year tonight, Travel Watch South West in Taunton on Saturday and our big "Save the Train" meeting on Monday. Tuxedo bought for tonight, more comfortable clothes for tomorrow, clothes for Monday not even considered yet! I ...
2007-03-08
 
1093Wiltshire Train - can YOU come on 5th March?
Incredibly, it looks like the local campaign for an appropriate train service across Wiltshire - the "transWilts" line f from Swindon via Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge to Westbury with links on to Warminster, from and Salisbury may actually be getting somewhere. A draft timetable release to me by ...
2007-02-27
 
1076Save the Train - an update
I have tried not to bore my more technical readers here with "yet another train story" too often, but perhaps I should post the occasional update. Save the Train is an Internet / Web Site based group who use (or used) the TransWilts train service, or would use it if appropriate services were provided. ...
2007-02-12
 
1069Rail trouble forced me to buy hotel
.... that's a headline in Monday's "Metro" paper, over a story about how we came to open Well House Manor. "Graham Ellis, 52 was facing ruin ..." it says. Well - not quite, though I suppose that the business would have been severely damaged if we had done nothing at all to offer viable alternatives to ...
2007-02-08
 
1063Bradford-on-Avon - 150 years of passenger trains
Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the opening of Bradford-on-Avon station - a town about half the size of Melksham which is situated on the main Portsmouth to Cardiff line about 6 miles away, and is served by a service that's hourly or somewhat more frequent thoughout the day, and has a bustling ...
2007-02-05
 
1045Bang! Train campaign hits home
Right at the tail end of the second full day of the train petition I mentioned yesterday ... and we're already in the top 150 petitions out of over 2000. Not bad - it shows that people ARE concerned and we can reach them, that they'll sign up there names. Not a regular reader? Campaign is for an appropriate ...
2007-01-20
 
1044Call for appropriate train services - Swindon, Bristol, Bath, West Wilts, Severn Beach etc
Regular readers may have come across the Save the Train web site which I help with. A disasterous timetable change last December crippled the usefulness of local trains based in Wessex - there's not just one line effected; everyone is up in arms! Yes - Melksham is worst effected but I'm working today ...
2007-01-18
 
976Santa at the station
Santa Claus came with us on the train today from Melksham to Swindon and back .. and there were so many children to see him that he had to get off at Melksham when we got back to finish his rounds. A great time had by all, and a big THANK YOU to Santa, and to the Melksham Rail Development Group who ...
2006-12-10
(short)
974The last commuter train through Melksham
"We have altered the trains from Monday". "Please check for changes to your trains". "First - Transforming travel". Theses are the messages writ loud in the publicity surrounding the current train timetable changes. And they read positive, don't they? I was very disappointed on yesterday evening's ...
2006-12-09
 
952Coming from London to Melksham by train for a course
If you're travelling by train to a Well House Consultants course, we can meet you off the 19:08 arrival (Mondays to Fridays) from Swindon, which has a connection leaving London Paddington at 17:30. If your course starts on a Monday, a train leaves Paddington at 18:00 on Sunday evening and arrives in ...
2006-11-28
 
877Yes, but what do we do now??
Regular readers will know that I've been helping the campaign to retain the train service through Melksham at an appropriate level and, much to my surprise, a request that I made under the Freedom of Information act brought my 1kg of papers at the start of this month, followed by yet more information ...
2006-09-24
 
154Railway train service, Melksham station
I never cease to be amazed at how little people know of the public transport that's available on their own doorstep. * Melksham station closed in the 1960s. That seems to be pretty well know locally. * It reopened in the 1980s, with a minimal service. Some people know this. * In 2001, the service ...
2006-08-28
 
814Melksham Railway Calendar 2007
"Save The Train" - Pictures and captions for the TransWilts Train Calendar, 2007 January / February 2007 "The Train Home". The TransWilts service from Swindon to Salisbury provides a lifeline for towns and villages such as Melksham (pop 24,000), Dilton Marsh, Dean and Dunbridge. March / April 2007 Lacock ...
2006-07-27
 
790Shadow Transport Minister to visit Melksham
Chris Grayling, the shadow transport spokesman, will be meeting local MP Michael Ancram at Melksham station on Friday, 7th July at 11 a.m. Don't quite know how we managed to get that much attention, but it could be a fabulous help in our battle to save the train .... this post is adaped from a press ...
2006-07-02
 
632Moral dilemma
Should I arrive late and walk in during the chairman's introduction, or should I arrive on time? That's a question that I'm faced with this morning. "Arrive on time" you'll say and - yes - I would love to. Except ... this is a meeting about public transport and the only way I could get to Taunton ...
2006-06-09
 
697For any North and West Wilts and Swindon Readers
Can I ask you, please, to write by email or fax to your MP (Anne Snelgrove in Swindon, James Gray in Chippenham, Michael Ancram for Melksham and Andrew Murrison for Trowbridge, Westbury, Dilton March and Warminster) and encourage them to attend the debate in parliament on Tuesday - on the subject of ...
2006-06-05
 
Examples from our training material
railstats.txt   Railway Station codes, locations, usage 2004 - 2010 (+2011 added 29.3.2012) (+2012 added 4.4.2013)
station_usage_0203.csv   Station entrances and exits - 2002 - 2003
station_usage_0405.csv   station entrances and exits - 2004/5
station_usage_0506.csv   station entrances and exits - 2005/6
station_usage_0607.csv   Station entrances and exits - 2006/7
station_usage_0708.csv   Station entrances and exits 2007 - 2008
station_usage_0809.csv   Station entrances and exits - 2008/9
station_usage_0910.csv   station entrances and exits - 2009/2010
stationtables.tsv   Rail stations - postcode, OS and lat/long data source
Topics covered in this module
Rail services to and from Melksham.
The TransWilts line.
Save the Train and the First Great Western Coffeeshop.
How the railway industry works.
Complete learning
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Well House Consultants specialise in training courses in Python, Perl, PHP, and MySQL. We run Private Courses throughout the UK (and beyond for longer courses), and Public Courses at our training centre in Melksham, Wiltshire, England. It's surprisingly cost effective to come on our public courses - even if you live in a different country or continent to us.

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