The first six months of 2020 have been like no other year! The Melksham Rail User Group became the station friends member of ACoRP in January as planned, and embarked on continued planning for the year, to be thrown off course by the lockdown of the Coronavirus in March. We found ourselves in the unknown territory of supporting public transport by telling people to stay at home is they could and not use it, and even as things have started to open up in the last few weeks (writing mid July 2020), government advice has been to use private cars to get around, with public transport only as a last resort.
Melksham Rail User Group has met online (via Zoom) during this time, with friends activities at stations suspended across the UK (the planter at Melksham has done very well, but the place as a whole could have done with a litter pick or two a bit of TLC). Carnivals, fetes and fayres largely suspended, and out local paper ceasing delivery - so again much of the activity has been online.
But we are now at the point where our major train and bus operator are ready to welcome you back ... safety has always been paramount, but with knowledge, facemasks, new cleaning regimes, and a much lower infection rate, it is safe for people to travel in higher numbers, and to and from Melksham at least there is good capacity on all services.
Please take a look at
* Some local travel ideas in our July newsletter ((here))
* Current services all in our August newsletter ((here)) * Travelling as we come out of Coronavirus ((here)) We plan to resume some limited normal activities in the next weeks, leading up to our regular meeting scheduled for 16th September - looking to have an element of an "in real life" meeting should that be safe and legal, but with strong online presence for those who are not able to happily attend
Some good has come from recent times. Online meetings, monthly newsletters, and developing relationships with partners should not be lost, as we have our work cut out moving forward to rebuild public transport use to, from and within Melksham both for our community and for the wider environment and climate too.
Our mission is to maintain and enhance facilities at Melksham station, and to act as an independent voice of the station users.
Melksham is served by up to 18 trains a day on the line from Swindon to Westbury via Chippenham and Trowbridge.
Melksham Railway Station was closed in “the Beeching Era” - 1966. It re-opened in 1985, with British Rail, local councils and passengers partnering to bring back at least a part of the facility that had been so missed in the area.
The Melksham Railway Development Group (MRDG) was a community group that has worked hard over the years to support the station, though sometimes when the service was so poor it looked like it was lost again, and indeed if it weren’t for MRDG, Melksham might not have a station or train service today. Five years ago, MRDG working with the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, persuaded Wiltshire Council to sponsor, the Department for Transport to fund and GWR to run a three year trial of addition trains, and they have been very successful – for the first time since its re-opening, Melksham now has sufficient trains for passenger numbers to have grown well, and although the group is still very much concerned with further development, it has been renamed the Melksham Rail User Group (MRUG)
Melksham Rail User Group runs on a small budget kindly funded by Melksham Town Council and Melksham Without Parish Councils, and our membership includes representatives of both organisations. Events such as the Santa trips are costed to break even - their main intent is to publicise and promote the station and trains that serve it; any profit made is ploughed back into group funds. All work done for "MRUG" by the members is on a voluntary basis, for which the group is grateful.
The Group is also a member of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, supporting the use and growth of local and regional passenger train services on the Swindon to Westbury line via Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge, with service on to Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Salisbury. It is also a 'friend' of the Association of Cimmunity Rail Partnerships (ACoRP).
Current timetables and advice
Bus and Train Timetables - August 2020
Covid Travel advice - August 2020
News and Upcoming ....
28.7.20 Car parking changes - ((here))
August 2020 newletter ((here))
Next physical meeting if we can - 16.9.2020
(online too, that is for certain)
but please get in touch before if you wish!
Melksham Public Transport - Newsletters
* August 20 Newsletter - ((here))
* July 20 Newsletter - ((here))
* June 20 Newsletter - ((here))
* May 20 Newsletter - ((here))
* April 20 Newsletter - ((here))
2019/20 Annual Report (28.4.2020)
Knorr Bremse press release (27.4.2020)
Bus updates • Resources
35 Years Young - 13th May 2020
Online celebration - details
Picture are online ((here))
Passenger number predictions
How many passengers will be using Melksham Station in 2026 and in 2036? Neighbourhood plan input. See ((here)) for the web page or ((here)) for a printable version. Written 24.2.2020
Report on 2019 and plans for 2020 - Pick up a copy of our report at area board or council meetings or email to ask for a printed copy. Also available for download here
* Air fares in the time of pandemic
* Connecting into trains - the "First Mile" choice and to which station?
* Henley-on-Thames station 1957
* My first train journey since mid-March
* Arrival of JelliaJamb, and a request for a bit more thought at times
* 23rd September 2020 - ConnectedCities online seminar.
* Finn and bignosemac's return to the rails. Where were we today?