Melksham railway station

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Melksham National Rail
Melksham station.jpg
Location
Place Melksham
Local authority County of Wiltshire
Coordinates 51°22′47″N 2°08′41″W / 51.3798°N 2.1446°W / 51.3798; -2.1446Coordinates: 51°22′47″N 2°08′41″W / 51.3798°N 2.1446°W / 51.3798; -2.1446
Grid reference ST900645
Operations
Station code MKM
Managed by Great Western Railway
Number of platforms 1
DfT category F2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 11,330
2012/13 Increase 12,080
2013/14 Increase 23,930
2014/15 Increase 51,858
2015/16 Increase 60,676
History
Original company Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway
Pre-grouping Great Western Railway
Post-grouping Great Western Railway
05 September 1848 Opened
1966 Closed
1985 Reopened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Melksham from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Melksham railway station is a railway station opened in 1848, serving the town of Melksham in Wiltshire, England. It is on the branch line from Chippenham to Trowbridge that was originally part of the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway, absorbed in 1850 by the Great Western Railway.

History[edit]

The station opened with the original section of the line between Thingley Junction and Westbury, on 5 September 1848.[1] British Railways closed the station from 18 April 1966 but reopened it to passengers from May 13th 1985.[2]

The station had a siding which gave access to the former Wiltshire United Dairies/United Dairies creamery, last owned by Co-operative Wholesale Society Dairies, allowing access for milk trains. After its closure the dairy was converted into an industrial estate. From the 1960s to the mid 1980s there was a rail-served Shell oil depot at Melksham run first by Jack Dean (oils) and later by Hartwells Oils. This received heating oil from a refinery at Llandarcy in west Wales but closed around 1983. During the 1970s, Foster Yeoman operated a roadstone terminal in the former goods yard which was rail-served from Merehead Quarry. The Wiltshire Farmers Ltd also had a private siding south of the station which was used until c.1989 for occasional deliveries of bagged fertiliser, but was removed in 1990.

Services[edit]

The Melksham train

As of June 2009, Melksham station was served by two trains each way per day (one train on Sundays) between Swindon and Westbury, operated by First Great Western (now Great Western Railway), compared with five each way per day before the December 2006 timetable change.[3]

From the start of the December 2013 winter timetable, Melksham has a significantly improved service.[4] Trains now run approximately every two hours each way Mon-Sat (with peak period extras – nine departures in total) and six trains each way on Sundays. Two weekday southbound services run through to Southampton Central.

Trains longer than one carriage cannot open all doors as the platform cannot accommodate them.[5] A planning application to extend the platform was submitted in 2016.[6]

The Melksham single line serves as a diversionary route when either the Paddington-Westbury-Taunton or Taunton-Bristol Temple Meads-Bath routes are closed for engineering work or otherwise disrupted; occasional use is also made of the line by Freightliner trains running between Southampton and the Midlands when their normal route via Basingstoke and Reading is unavailable. GWR's hourly Portsmouth Harbour-Cardiff Central services are sometimes diverted via Melksham to terminate and start at Swindon rather than Cardiff when engineering work is taking place between Bath, Bristol and the Severn Tunnel in connection with the electrification of the Great Western main line. The downside of these diversions is that the local Westbury-Swindon 'Trans Wilts' service often has to be covered by a Rail Replacement bus service as there are insufficient paths available over the 8 mile single line section due to a lack of intermediate signal sections.

A number of Mendip Rail aggregate trains from the quarries at Merehead and Whatley also use the line, serving destinations such as Appleford, Oxford Banbury Road, Wootton Bassett and Acton (London). A train of empty ballast hoppers operated by GB Railfreight runs most weekdays from Westbury via Melksham to Cliffe Hill Stud Farm in Leicestershire.

From summer 2015 a ticket vending machine has been in use on the platform, enabling passengers to either purchase their tickets or collect pre-paid tickets for their journey. An additional 20 free car parking spaces were provided at the same time, together with covered cycle accommodation, CCTV and a new passenger shelter.

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Chippenham   Great Western Railway
Wessex Main Line
  Trowbridge

Save The Train[edit]

The 'Save The Train' group was launched in 2005, to raise public awareness that services along the TransWilts Line were being reduced.[7] Prior to the introduction of extra services in late 2013, 'Save the Train' members transferred to the community element of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacDermot, E.T. (1927). History of the Great Western Railway. 1 (1st ed.). Paddington: Great Western Railway. p. 295. 
  2. ^ "Then & Now — Melksham Railway Station". Wiltshire Times. Trowbridge. 15 June 2006. 
  3. ^ "TransWiltsRail: Melksham". Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  4. ^ TWCRP Timetable - Swindon to WestburyTransWilts Community Rail Partnership; Retrieved 8 June 2016
  5. ^ "Great Western Route Utilisation Study: Platform Lengths" (PDF). Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Station platform to be extended". Melksham Independent News. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Ellis, Graham. "Save the Train". Well House Consultants. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Movement to TransWilts CRP". First Great Western Coffee Shop. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 

External links[edit]