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Author Topic: Melksham to Southampton - why we didn't take the train from Melksham  (Read 1148 times)
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« on: January 03, 2024, 09:48:22 »

We live in Melksham. We went on holiday from Southampton. Direct train, 91 minutes, Melksham to Southampton Central.  You might think it would be logical for us to have taken the train, but we didn't.   

A good study as to why we didn't take the obvious route. And note that we're not alone if finding the train from Melksham a poor choice - passenger journeys have risen from 3,000 per annum to around 65,000 it's true, but the numbers should be more like quarter of a million - in other words, at present the train is working for just one in four.

What did we do?

We took the 09:20 bus to Bath Spa. From there we took the 10:35 train to Southampton arriving there at 12:04 - 156 minutes.  Why that choice?

We returned the same route - planned to catch the 08:10, change to the 10:15 bu at Bath Spa and arrive home at 11:20.  We ended up on the 08:30, changed to the 10:45 bus at Bath Spa and arrive home at 11:30 - 180 minutes.

Why the longer journey?

1. The bus calls outside our home and has an easy connection just across the road in Bath, whereas in Melksham it's a 6 minute walk (if you're fit and without luggage) from the bus stop to the station.

2. The bus and train both run frequently enough for us to drop back by one service if they are too busy, cancelled, or we miss one.

3. The trains are typically direct from Bath to Southampton, but a change is usually needed from Melksham to Southampton

4. There are staff around at Bath Spa to help (ticket office) in the sale of the particular tickets we wanted, and to assist (heavy with luggage and not as mobile as we used to be) getting us to the right place on the platform.

As far as I am concerned, the correct decision - even though it took us the best part of an hour from home to passing through Trowbridge about half a dozen mile away!

As an aside, why did we not catch the 08:10 coming back?   Because it was a scrum - a three carriage train and a platform crowded with travellers with luggage - backpacks, thems going to a soccer match, and lots who had clearly been amongst the 5,120 passenger who had just arrived on "Iona". Goodness knows how many people arrived already on the train from Portsmouth.   Three cars inadequate, and a quick word with a member of staff (there you go, benefit of staffed station) confirmed that the 08:30 was a sensible / quieter alternative.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2024, 10:48:41 by grahame » Logged

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