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Author Topic: TransWilts Line - General Information  (Read 14419 times)
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« on: July 09, 2016, 06:50:12 am »

The TransWilts Route from Swindon to Westbury

The route has been developed into a mainstream service since 2013 between Westbury and Swindon via Chippenham.

From Swindon to Chippenham, the service shares the main London to Bristol line with express services.  Beyond Chippenham, it turns off to the south at Thingley Junction onto a single track line used also for freight and engineering diversion trains.  There is one station on this single line section at Melksham after which it crosses the River Avon before Bradford Junction. Here it joins the Cardiff to Portsmouth secondary main line on the approach to Trowbridge.  The final station on the service is Westbury. The five stations on the route are for major towns in Wiltshire with significant populations:

The only significant engineering feature on the line is the Viaduct at Chippenham. Historically Swindon is well known for its role as a refreshment stop in the early days of the Western railway, but retains very little of the original buildings. Chippenham still has the original Brunel site office, now a network rail maintenance base.

Currently, there are 9 services each way per day (Monday to Friday), 8 each way on Saturdays and 7 northbound, 6 southbound on summer Sundays and 6 northbound, 5 southbound on winter Sundays. Trains run until early evening. As well as local passengers, the line carries many passengers who change to trains going further afield at Swindon and Westbury, and passengers headed from Melksham to Bath Spa and Bristol, who change at Chippenham or Trowbridge. Melksham is unique on the TransWilts line in that it only served by TransWilts trains, except for two Northbound which run to Cheltenham and one Southbound to Southampton.

Most services are operated by a two carriage class 158 train. Only standard class is provided. All trains have space for up to three bicycles (available on a first come, first served basis) and there's a toilet available on every train. Seats are not reservable in advance.

All stations have 24hr ticket sale and collection facilities by ATM(resolve), and all except Melksham have staffed ticket offices for some or all of the time that TransWilts trains run.Ticket gates are in use at Chippenham and Swindon. The line is a penalty fare line; if you're unable to purchase the ticket you need before you join, please let the conductor know as you join the train so you can purchase one from him/her. The Great West Way rover ticket (available in 3 versions for 1 or 7 days) from GWR (Great Western Railway) is available for some or all of the TransWilts route, dependent on the version purchased.

Swindon, Chippenham and Westbury have buffets open for part of the day, and vending machines for chocolate etc at all times. Trowbridge is located close to the town centre shops where coffee etc can easily be obtained.

A key issue with expansion and reliability for the route is the single line section from Thingley to Bradford junctions.This section is a single block without signals or passing loops, and once occupied by a train, another cannot enter the block in either direction until that train has left the section.

Melksham is a station that lost its service under Beeching, and it was reopened in 1985. the service was very sparse until 2013 and Melksham station was basic with a platform only capable of taking a single car train. The platform has been extended and a series of infrastructure upgrades are planned for 2020 to provide additional car parking, a small cafe and toilet, amongst other improvements. Thereafter additional access from the North is planned which will also bring retail and  food outlets close to the station.   

All stations have car parking facilities, and all except Melksham have toilets. All stations are wheelchair accessible.
The basic off-peak service is one train each way approximately every 2 hours. With the number of regular users, an hourly service would be welcomed.

Trains are operated by Great Western Railway and supported by the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership.

Updated 31st March 2020

« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 07:55:40 pm by Reginald25 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 08:30:17 pm »

Scene today at Chippenham.

I don't have exact passenger numbers for you - without two counters, it's now impossible.   Without being very rude and pushing past lots of people up and down the carriage, it's not possible to give you accurate numbers when it left Chippenham, but I would be surprised if it wasn't between 95 and 105.  Best part of 50 off at Melksham, around another ten on.

Apparently, the new school / college year has seen a marked increase on the passengers going up on the 07:49 ex Melksham, so they'll be coming back on the 15:29 from Chippenham.   Whether we'll see any increase in the official numbers I don't know now that it's impossible for the crew to get through;  those 'in the know' are expecting to see quite a revenue boost at Chippenham once it's barriered.

Am I surprised at anything in this picture?    Anything I wouldn't have expected five years ago?   Yes - I'll admit to being surprised at the colour of the carriage, and the return of the name "Great Western Railway".   Didn't see that coming, but the need for this public transport service - the crowds - is more along the "told you so" lines.

Please, Mr GWR (Great Western Railway) and Mr SWR» (South Western Railway - about), work together and provide us with an hourly 2-car service to Southampton.  I want to see that work, and be able to say "Thank You", "told you so" and "look at all that extra revenue" in 5 more years. With the right service and support, it can be done!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 08:35:44 pm by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2019, 06:19:56 pm »

The earlier text in this thread seriously needs an update!

Looking as SLCs (Service Level Commitment) ( ) - this is the requirement from the major timetable change that's in plan for December ( 2019  Grin )

1 Route Definition
1.1 Services shall be provided between Westbury and Swindon calling at Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge.
1.2 Services may be joined to services specified in Route A4 (Swindon - Cheltenham) or Route F4 (Westbury – Weymouth).

2 Frequency

2.1 Mondays to Fridays
(a) Between and including the Early and Late Services nine services from Westbury shall be provided. Intervals shall be no greater than three hours. One service shall arrive at Swindon between 0800 and 0830.
(b) Between and including the Early and Late Services eight services from Swindon shall be provided. Intervals shall be no greater than three hours. Two services shall depart between 1715 and 1900.

2.2 Saturdays
Between and including the Early and Late Services eight services shall be provided in each direction.

2.3 Sundays
Between and including the Early and Late Services six services shall be provided in each direction. An additional service shall be provided from Westbury.


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