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TransWilts wins national awards

The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership won four national awards at the Railfuture national conference on 7th November, held in Bristol.

‘Best Social Media Campaign’ went to the ‘Weymouth Wizard’ Facebook Campaign last summer, when the regular one coach train from Swindon to Westbury was replaced on summer Saturdays by an eight coach train to Weymouth and the challenge was set to “fill the train” – which was done, carrying over 350 passengers on each train in August from Swindon and Chippenham via Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury.

The silver award for campaigns went to the TransWilts campaign to get the previous limited service though Melksham (18,000 journeys a year in 2012) transformed into a better service that will carry 230,000 journeys this year. That’s a rise of over 12 times.

Bob Morrison, TransWilts Friend’s co-ordinator, an administrator of the online forum, and a keen volunteer on the train, won a commendation in the hard fought ‘individual volunteer’ category.

And finally, the web site and forum – www.transwilts.org and gwr.passenger.chat – won silver in the ‘Best Website’ category.

Chairman Paul Johnson said, “I am delighted and proud that the hard work and commitment by all our members, volunteers, has been recognised with these important awards. The success of the new TransWilts service has delighted everyone involved, so this recognition of the coordinated efforts made by the Community Rail Partnership is valued and much appreciated.”

Railfuture’s annual Awards for Rail User Groups aim to recognise and reward local volunteers who come together and work tirelessly to improve their local railway and stations on behalf of their passengers, efforts which all-too-often would otherwise pass unheralded.

This year’s awards, were presented by President Christian Wolmar at Railfuture’s autumn conference, held in Bristol on Saturday 7th November. Vice-President Roger Ford, Industry and Technology Editor of Modern Railways has said recently, “Joining my fellow vice-presidents on the judging panel for the Railfuture annual awards is always an enjoyable meeting and provides an insight into the grass roots railway.”