Swindon to Weymouth rail service to be trialled

A new Sunday direct rail service from Wiltshire to the Dorset coast is to be trialled through the summer.

The Swindon to Weymouth line is being run by the Trans Wilts Rail group, which wishes to improve rail links throughout the county.

The trial service during July and August will call in at Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury on the way.

Paul Johnson from Trans Wilts Rail said it was "a taster of what's possible".

He said: "We have to use and fit between existing services, so the best we could offer was a link through Westbury for a trial. And to make it a good day out we thought a finishing point like Weymouth would be good for the summer."

It is hoped the trial run will lead to an increased rail service from Swindon through to Salisbury.

Mr Johnson said: "It's been identified with First Great Western that we need some additional rolling stock to make the service work.

"We don't have a train service to build on at all, and until we get that service we won't get the trains that are being allocated to the high demand areas in the country. You have to have it in order to build on it."

Trans Wilts Rail have worked in conjunction with First Great Western to provide a timetable for the trial and run it alongside their existing services.

The service, which is being supported by Wessex Chamber of Commerce and subsidised by local businesses, is due to begin on July 3.

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