Passenger numbers on the TransWilts have mushroomed since the service was improved for 2014, with Great Western Railway, Wiltshire Council and the local community working together to promote the line to local residents through the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. With just three years to prove the trial service, the group concentrated on the regular local traffic and with great success - the line has been the fastest growing in the UK.
Wiltshire is a beautiful county, and the partenrs are now working together to promote the line for leisure and tourism passengers, encouraging newcomers to see our beautiful county from some of our quieter trains, and to sample the delights of market towns such as Trowbridge, Chippenham, Melksham, Westbury and Warminster, and our larger urban areas of Swindon and Salisbury. Eight days of rail travel (out of 15) between these stations - and extensions to the South Coast, Bath, Bristol and beyond will cost you just £10 per day on a Freedom of Severn and Solent Rover, and there's a wide range of day and off peak tickets available at sensible prices too. Leave the car, and take the train!
We are delighted to announce the award of a grant of £3500 from the Department for Transport and ACoRP's (Association of Community Rail Partnerships) Designated Community Rail Developement Fund (DCRDF) to match fund local business funding for the promotion of tourism and leisure traffic on the line.
Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of Great Western said "This is great news and follows the Minister for Rail, Paul Maynard's visit last week. There are some great places to visit in Wiltshire and we are delighted to be working in partnership with the award winning TransWilts Community Rail Partnership to support the communities we serve. I know that this grant will go to good use and I hope it will bring plenty more visitors to the area"
David Andrews, Chief Executive of VisitWiltshire said "Improving connectivity for visitors is a key priority for us in growing Wiltshire's visitor economy, so we're delighted with this further endorsement of the outstanding work of the TransWilts team. The additional funding will play a critical role and we look forward to working with TransWilts to help raise awareness and increase visitor journeys along the line."
Paul Johnson, Chair of TransWilts, says “Our Community Rail Partnership is about a north-south connecting railway line that links the larger Wiltshire communities and and market towns. Wiltshire has main lines from London to South Wales, to Bristol and to the South West all passing through our beautiful countryside. We want to encourage visitors to stop a while and enjoy what we have to offer by using our TransWilts line which links the national network to the whole of Wiltshire.”
TransWilts rail services runs 9 times a day from Swindon to Westbury via Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge with onward connections to Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Salisbury. Wider connections are available from Swindon and Westbury to other stations throughout the UK. The service was designated by the Department for Transport in autumn 2016, and is the fastest growing designated service in the UK, with passenger journey numbers up in 3 years from around 20,000 to quarter of a million.
The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership brings together train operators, passenger transport authorities, and the wider community to co-ordinate local support, promotion and marketing of the service and stations at Chippenham and Melksham.
For more information, contact TransWilts on 0845 459 153 or 01225 708225. Admin - Sarah Trott; Community Rail Officer - Graha Ellis. Email sarah-at-transwilts.org or grahamellis-at-transwilts.org.