Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here].
Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
 today - PEW / Broad Gauge (1)
today - ORR Station Usage figures out
13/12/2018 - ACoRP AGM
17/12/2018 - Removal of Severn Bridge Tolls
22/12/2018 - Christmas service changes
04/01/2019 - Look forward - 2019 Severnside
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail News GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
December 11, 2018, 06:40:25 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[116] Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged to...
[106] Station Usage figures from the ORR
[55] MetroBus
[53] Passengers trapped on train for over 6 hours
[48] Cotswold Line - 2018 cancellation and amendments log
[32] Class 387 coming to Thames Valley - ongoing discussion
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Linked Events
  • 5th birthday, TransWilts train: December 08, 2018
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: 5th Birthday, the TransWilts train  (Read 805 times)
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 22893



View Profile WWW Email
« on: November 23, 2018, 08:56:28 am »

Saturday, 8th December 2018 will be the fifth birthday of the improved service on the TransWilts line from Westbury to Swindon via Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham.   For the previous decade, the line had been served only by early morning and evening pairs of trains that were of little practical use; in Winter, Melksham station had no trains at all during daylight hours.

Starting on 8th December 2013, a single extra one carriage train started a three year trial shuttling up and down between Westbury and Swindon, not only providing new round trip opportunities in itself, but also adding in sensible return options which made the morning and evening train pairs useful too.

Doubters thought that the goals set for the trial were impractically high. In practise the third year targets were reached in the first year, and come the end of the third year the service was confirmed as permanent.  And that was fantastic news, because people could at last plan their lives and careers around a daily commute.

To some extent, the service has been a victim of its own success. Figures due out in December (for year to March) will, I predict, show little change on last year - but that can largely be explained by the peak trains being so full that there wasn't room for any more passengers to be carried.   Eventually (9 months late) the train has been extended - as has the short platform at Melksham, and growth is under way again.   Walking through the 2 or 3 carriage train in recent weeks, I note quite a number of empty seats.  But counting passengers and comparing my total against what a single carriage train could carry, I'm seeing numbers rising strongly again - the growth and the TransWilts story is set to carry on for the next ten years.



If ever there had been a case of a line / service / station crying out for improvement, this was one.  Five years ago it moved from a useless service to a poor but usable one (it really needs to be hourly) and with reliability, fares, capacity, and a modicum of telling people about it, it could hardly fail.  The community has been very supportive and there are a number of individuals who have been singled out and shortlisted (or better) for national rail awards - Lee and Bob who are here, Paul and Peter too.  Without them, each in their own ways, the line wouldn't be where it is today.  My thanks to all of them - all very much around as we look forward, I'm delighted to say - as we look forward to the next 5 years.

Edit - correcting typos & splitting long sentence

« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 08:05:15 am by grahame » Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 22893



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 05:24:41 am »

Press note (with pictures) from the Melksham Rail User Group to the Melksham News

Quote
Saturday 8th December 2018 is the fifth anniversary of Melksham's improved train service. Over the five years passenger journey numbers have risen from around 3,000 to 75,000 per annum.  This year we have seem the extension of the platform at Melksham from 1 to 3 carriages in length, and the introduction of longer trains.  18 train services call at the station each weekday, 16 on Saturday and 13 on Sunday, alternating destinations of Swindon via Chippenham and Westbury via Trowbridge.

A big "Thank you" to Great Western, Wiltshire Council, the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership (chair, Paul Johnson) for all their hard work.  The Melksham Rail User Group ( chair Peter Blackburn, Secretary John Hamley) meets on 23rd January 2019, 19:30, Melksham Town Hall, all welcome. But please use the train long before then!

Pictured
1. Crowds gather to greet the first new train, December 2013
2. One of the new trains when they started in December 2013
3. Scene today (30 November 2018) from the same spot.








Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
rogerw
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 516



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 09:46:43 am »

I recall travelling on that first train along with a number of other august coffee shop members
Logged

I like to travel.  It lets me feel I'm getting somewhere.
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 22893



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 04:29:31 pm »

From the local press (Melksham Independent News)

Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
Dispatch Box
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 138



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2018, 12:26:36 pm »

Mine is the next day, I don't want it though?.
Logged
Phil
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1916



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2018, 05:39:55 pm »

I'm intrigued to know where the word "celebrated" came from in that article.

None of the press releases appear to use it, however it's been slipped into the published article and appears to suggest that something will actually be happening on Saturday - which is misleading at best. As far as I know there's nothing happening on the day, although if there's the sniff of a photo opportunity I daresay our alleged MP Michelle Donellan might show up....
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 22893



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2018, 08:05:42 pm »

I'm intrigued to know where the word "celebrated" came from in that article.

None of the press releases appear to use it, however it's been slipped into the published article and appears to suggest that something will actually be happening on Saturday - which is misleading at best. As far as I know there's nothing happening on the day, although if there's the sniff of a photo opportunity I daresay our alleged MP Michelle Donellan might show up....

Hmmm ... we have a lot to celebrate with the rail service in this town, even if we do so quietly in our own individual ways some times.  I may very well take a personal trip down to the station for the 09:48 to Swindon to see it call and hopefully pick up a few people for the day out - people who didn't have the option over five years ago.

Soft launches and celebratory events that are offset from the actually anniversary are not uncommon - they're almost fashion.  I would not be at all surprised were such to be planned in a month or so, but that is not in the article.
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
rogerw
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 516



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 03:20:59 pm »

Do I need to bring a belated birthday card with me tomorrow?  Grin
Logged

I like to travel.  It lets me feel I'm getting somewhere.
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 22893



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 05:24:07 pm »

Hmmm ... we have a lot to celebrate with the rail service in this town, even if we do so quietly in our own individual ways some times.  I may very well take a personal trip down to the station for the 09:48 to Swindon to see it call and hopefully pick up a few people for the day out - people who didn't have the option over five years ago.

From Facebook

Quote
Five years ago today - 8th December 2013 - the train service at Melksham was stepped up to a useable level. First picture - one of the new trains soon after they started. Second picture - 8th December 2018 - at about the same time of day. 31 people got onto the train - not a special celebration but all day, every day. Truely, the train has made a big difference. Speaking with one of the passengers, she was asking about more trains ... disappointed at the current sparse service of one every 2 hours; she was shocked to learn that five years ago it was just two trains a day.

We have moved from an unusable service to one that still need stepping up - from 8 or 9 trains, to 13, to 16 per day each way. But please use it in the meantime too. A Melksham train leaflet is available at the TIC, the Town Hall, and the Library. Also to download at http://www.mrug.org.uk/Winterbrochure.pdf



+31 -5 .... 36 users for journeys to / from Melksham on that one train. On a bleak Saturday. No big sports crowds - just a normal day.
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants