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In 2000/01, there were 3,266 ticketed passenger journeys at Melksham station. “That’s about 5 passengers per day arriving and 5 passengers a day leaving,” reports Melksham Rail User Group.
“In figures just released, numbers for the 2017/18 year have increased to 74,220. That’s over 100 passengers per day arriving and 100 passengers a day leaving – and that’s in a year in which we have seen significant interruptions to services caused by upgrades and modernisation.
“A huge “thank you” to Great Western Railway and Wiltshire Council in helping the Melksham Rail User Group (chair Peter Blackburn, secretary John Hamley) promote the station throughout these 18 years, and to the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership (chair Paul Johnson, current community rail officer Sophie Martin) who have helped make the improved services and facilities work, and massive growth in the last five years, actually happen. And a big “thank you” to all the volunteers who have helped those organisations, and to the travelling public too – without whom there would be no point in running a service.
“There’s been one final major set of engineering works over Christmas and the New Year when most services were replaced by buses – but the normal services return on 4th January, and that should be for good.
“Now, with longer trains, and a longer platform, there is plenty of space on every service, 7 days a week. Adult day return fare to Swindon for 2019 re £7.60 (£10.20 if you travel up on the 07:20 or 07:49 services). Groups of 3 or more get a third off the £7.60 fares, and that same discounts is available off many tickets with railcards. Please tear out and keep the timetable advert in this edition.
“Santa visited the TransWilts line in mid December and met with dozens of happy children on the trip to Swindon and back – great time had by all. The trip was organised by the Melksham Rail User Group.
“The next meeting is on 23rd January at 19:30 in the Town Hall, when we’ll be looking at what’s happening on Melksham’s public transport in 2019 including station and service changes and a number of trips through the year. All welcome. Details at http://www.mrug.org.uk, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on Twitter and Facebook … also reachable by phone via 01225 708225. Timetable leaflets available at the TIC, Town Hall and Library which are valid until May 2019.”