Train from Swindon 08:36, Chippenham 08:53, Melksham 09:02. Day out on Salisbury Plain, visit the lost village of Imber riding on London's Routemaster buses. Take the train to Warminster (change at Westbury on the way) where you transfer to buses running every 15 minutes to explore The Plain, Imber, Chitterne, Lavington, Brazen Bottom, New Zealand Camp and other destinations. Trains back from Warminster at 15:01, 16:01 and 18:12, change at Westbury - last of these trains arrives into Melksham at 18:48, Chippenham at 19:01 and Swindon at 19:22. Regular trains - no need to prebook - just pay on the day
Swindon to Warminster, rail fare £7.90, Chippenham to Warminster £6.80, Melksham to Warminster £4.80 - all off peak adult day returns. Children half price. Groups of 3 or more adults, 34% off with a GroupSave. Railcard discounts also apply.
Bus price? Imber Bus say "To enable visitors to explore our services in an affordable way, we will again be offering an all day ticket at a cost of £10 per adult, with up to 3 children allowed to accompany each adult for the bargain fare of just £1 each. However, ordinary bus fares will also be available and so anyone who just wishes to travel from Warminster to visit the 16th century St Giles’ Church at Imber (which will be open specially on both dates), will be able to purchase an ordinary single ticket for just £3 each way. Imberbus operates as an ordinary local bus service, so there is no need to pre-book or pay in advance – just turn up and pay the conductor on the bus in cash (payment in £5 or £10 notes or £1 and £2 coins is appreciated !)." (https://imberbus.wordpress.com/imberbus-2019/)
The deserted village of Imber, Wiltshire, is a fascinating time capsule. The village was taken over by the military in 1943 so it could be used to train American soldiers for the D-Day landings. The villagers were given 6 weeks to pack their belongings and leave. They were assured that once the war was over they would be allowed to return. The military never gave Imber back to the residents, however, and more than 70 years later it remains in the heart of the Salisbury Plain training area and off-limits to visitors except for a few weeks each year. (https://www.britainexpress.com/counties/wiltshire/az/imber.htm)
* At least 25 buses in operation, some of which will be wheelchair accessible.
* Departures approximately every 15 minutes from Warminster Station to Imber from 9.45am onwards;
* Buses serving Tilshead, Chitterne, West Lavington, Market Lavington, and Brazen Bottom twice an hour throughout the day.
* Buses twice an hour from Warminster, Imber and Gore Cross direct to the “Delaware Road” festival at New Zealand Farm Camp.
* Most journeys operated by at least 2 vehicles;
* Imber Church open for viewing and refreshments from 10am to 6pm on the Saturday.
* Buses stopping opposite Market Lavington Museum which is opening again specially for our event and also serving cream teas.
* Refreshments also available at the village halls in Chitterne and Tilshead.
* Displays of local historical photographs at Tilshead village hall, together with a small transport sales stall selling the new Imberbus 10th Anniversary book.
See also printable timetable
Timetables changing shortly
Bus times [First D3] (from 10.11.19) - [here]
Current train times (to 14.12.19) - [here]
Future train times (from 15.12.19) - [here]
Fare changes 2nd Jan 2020 - early data [here]
MRUG public meeting, "Fares Special" 20th January 2020 - see [here]
15th December 2019 - Santa will be on the train from Melksham just after 15:00 (3 p.m.) to Swindon and back. Further details [here]
Report on reduction of station dwell time – three specific ideas for Melksham proposed by the Melksham Rail User Group in reply to request for suggestions from Mark Hopwood on 18th July 2019 for input by 24th July 2019 - [[here]]
Report on summer 2019 promotion - carnivals, and fetes - see [[here]]. Thank you to everyone who's helped - and enjoy your summer trips. Pictures from Imber on 17th August - here
Tribute to class 153 trains - the single carriages which provided the vital stepping stone from no useful service to what we now have, 2013-2018 on the line, now retiring from GWR
New "Great West Way Discover" tickets launched - travel as much as you like on selected routes, two of the tickets include Melksham - great for a Staycation or for visitors to the UK who are staying with you for a while. There are now 10 different rangers and rovers that include Melksham - see [here] for a list including maps and prices.