Information for Melksham's current and future rail users

Trains at Melksham, Swindon, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Westbury ....... and connections to over 2,500 stations in Great Britain
Buses ... local, and to Bath, Devizes, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Corsham and Bradford-on-Avon
And for newcomers to our public transport

Train Tickets

What does a return trip from MELKSHAM to LONDON cost?

There are many different fares - Here is a summary for 2020

Fares up by around 2.6% on 1st March 2021. This page being updated. For early information see (here)

Period returns (adult - see below for railcards and reductions)

From Melksham -
catch the train at
Return from London
within a month on the
train from Paddington at
buy-on-day fares return
as 2 singles
05:33, 07:19 or 07:52
Monday to Friday
07:48 or 18:00
Monday to Friday
Up and back, anytime £182.00 £91.00 + £91.00
= £182.00
09:45 or 16:32
Monday to Friday
Up anytime,
back off peak
£182.00 £91.00 + £45.30
= £136.30
Any other service via Swindon
(see below for times)
Up anytime,
back super off peak
£182.00 £91.00 + £33.50
Any other service
via Swindon
07:48 or 18:00
Monday to Friday
Up super off peak,
back anytime
£182.00 £33.50 + £91.00
= £124.50
09:45 or 16:32
Monday to Friday
Up super off peak,
back off peak
£76.70 £33.50 + £45.30
= £78.80
Any other service via Swindon
(see below for times)
Up and back, super off peak £57.60 £33.50 + £33.50
= £67.00

We have highlighted the best value (a return or two singles) for each combination in the table above
For advance purchase fares - which are sometimes cheaper - and travel via Westbury - see below

Trains from Melksham to London via Swindon
Monday to Friday: 05:33 07:19 07:52 10:01 12:32 14:32 16:41 18:55 20:22
Saturday: 07:53 08:51 10:21 12:21 14:23 15:16 16:48 18:51
Sunday: 08:37 11:00 12:56 15:06 17:06 18:51 20:34

Trains from London to Melksham via Swindon
Monday to Friday: 07:48 10:02 12:18 14:18 16:32 18:00 19:48
Saturday: 07:47 09:59 11:59 13:59 14:59 16:32 18:32 19:59
Sunday: 08:00 10:43 12:43 14:43 16:42 18:29 20:00

Typical journey time - 90 to 110 minutes - but check for weekend times and diversions due to engineering works
Red - Anytime ticket trains
Teal - Anytime and Off Peak tickets valid
Black - Anytime, Off Peak and Super Off Peak tickets all valid

If you are certain which train you want to catch in advance, also take a look at advance fares. These are SINGLE tickets offered at a lower cost (sometimes a little lower, occasionaly a lot lower) that the equivalent "walk up" single fare. But beware - miss your train and your money is lost, change before travelling and you'll be limited in how much you can change and you'll be charged an admin fee.

If you are going up and back in on the same day

There are no day return fares to London from Melksham - that was regarded as "long distance" when the fare system was set. However, you can buy tickets to and from Didcot, and then day return fares from there to London. You must travel on a train that calls at Didcot, but you may stay on the train there. This buying your journey in parts is known as "split ticketing" and is perfectly legal - almost admired by the staff. And think of it this way - if the rail industry did not want you to be able to buy tickets in this way, they would not offer them for sale!

Easiest way if you're buying on the day is to get your first ticket from the machine at Melksham Station, then buy the rest from the Train Manager who will be happy to serve you as he gets a commission.


From Melksham at 07:19 on a Monday (or any day to Friday). Change at Swindon into the 07:57 (which calls at Didcot), arriving London 08:54
17:30 from Paddington (Taunton train that calls at Didcot). Change at Swindon, arrive Melksham 19:14.
Fare - £28.30 (anytime single Melksham to Didcot), £68.50 (any time day return Didcot to Paddington) £14.40 (super off peak single Didcot to Melksham - yes, it is valid!)
Total fare - £111.20

Other fares / options on your tickets

Children's fares
Children aged 5 to 15 travel at half of the fares quoted above and on most other tickets too.

A wide variety of railcards is available for specific groups to purchase, usually offering a 34% discount off tickets. Terms and conditions (and which trains they're valid on) vary greatly, and railcards initially cost £20 or £30 to buy for a year; some longer periods available too.
* Senior Railcard
* Disabled Railcard
* Family and Friends
* Two together
* Armed Forces
* Jobseekers
* 16 to 25
* 25 to 30
* Network Railcard ... only valid in London and the South East, but can be used after 10 a.m. on tickets such as a Didcot to London day return as mentioned above.

Group Save
Groups of three or more adults may travel on a "Groupsave" ticket offering 34% off on most off peak trains. Note that for 2 adults plus one child without a railcard, travelling together, you should purchase a Groupsave as the child IS allowed to travel on an "adult" ticket as it's really an any age ticket.

Season Tickets
If you are making the same journey multiple days in a week at peak times, a season ticket can save you money. Usually, a season ticket becomes cheaper if you're making over 4 return trips but on Melksham to London journeys, you may make a saving on as few as 2 return trips (it's £290.20 for a 7 day ticket, valid any time)

Travel Cards
On many tickets with a London destination, you can add on a Travel Card for Transport for London services - underground and bus - at a lower price that buying individual journeys as you travel

First Class
There is no first class on trains that call at Melksham (or if there is, there is not supposed to be and anyone can use it). However, when you change into your main line train to London, First Class should be available. The fare is usually higher - often much higher; you get more legroom, wider seats, complementary coffee and nibbles.

If you're not sure what train you'll be coming back on ... buy a super off peak ticket but then find you want to return on an off peak train, you can ask for your ticketed to be "excessed" at the ticket office or from one of the mobile ticket sellers at Paddington, and you'll just pay the difference. If it's likely you'll be coming home on a peak train having travelled up super off peak, it's best to buy two singles. The National Conditions of Travel do also allow you to pay an excess on the train. This is useful if you're in a hurry to catch the last connection of the day to Melksham. However, some railway staff who check your ticket may not be familiar with condition 9.5.1 so it's easier to excess before you board if you have time.

Return to Chippenham
Your Melkham return ticket (provided it's not an advance ticket) is also available for a return to Chippenham, and most tickets from Melksham to London are the same price as Chippenham tickets.

Starting from Chippenham
If you get a lift to Chippenham and are starting from there, but want to have the option of returning to Melksham, you can buy a MELKSHAM to London ticket at no extra charge from the staffed ticket counter.

Other routes to London

* Tickets listed in the top section above are also valid into London Waterloo, changing trains at Reading as well as Swindon. Please check ahead of time for off peak restrictions coming back out from Waterloo, and for your connecting train at Reading.

* Alternative tickets descibed as "any permitted route" rather than "via Swindon" can be used to travel via Westbury and Newbury to Reading ... then on to Paddington (or Waterloo). In most instances, journeys via Newbury are going to take longer and cost more - occasionally you may wish to go this way, especially if there's an excellent advance fare on offer.

* A National Express Coach runs daily from Melksham to London at 06:45 (Monday to Friday) or 07:45 (Saturday and Sunday), returning from London at 19:00. Journey time is three to three and a half hours. Open return tickets usually cost £48.00 (not checked for 2020) but much lower advance purchase fares are usually available.

* [pricing to be checked here for 2020] A £42.80 super off peak day return from WESTBURY to London Waterloo via Salisbury ticket is available - please check for the specific day of the week / trains you want to use as there is considerable variety. Buy a £4.00 off peak day return Melksham to Westbury ... and if the train times suit you, this may be the best value into London. Especially useful if you're headed for the South Bank anyway. Total price £46.80.

Other Questions

Where do I buy my ticket?
* You can buy your ticket online at or a number of other outlets, and collect it before you travel (just before you travel, if you like) from the ticket machine at the station
* A wide range of tickets can be bought via the front panel of the ticket machine at the station - though not as wide as the online range you can get out of it
* If you can't find the ticket you need in the machine, or will be paying in cash or with a voucher or warrant, ask the train manager to sell / provide your ticket.

What if I miss my connecting train into Melksham (or if it's cancelled)?
If you missed the connection because the incoming connecting train (or a train earlier on your journey) was late and the connection had left before you got there, the railway is required to provide you with appropriate travel. This may be simply waiting for the next train, a special bus may be laid on, or it could be a taxi. Do note that you'll need to ask for this help in most cases, and be prepared that if the next train is less than an hour away, it will probably be quicker to wait for that, by the time alternative and slower transport is arranged.

Note that if your missed connection / cancellation is due to weather or other issues outside the railway's control, they are not required to provided an alterative means of travel for you, nor will they do so if you were delayed by a bus (even if it was a First bus) or a late flight.

How can I get from Paddington to my (Central) London destination?
Buses - these examples all call at the stop at the top of the slope out of the front of the station (turn left to stop H)
7 to Oxford Street and Oxford Circus
23 to / via Knightsbridge
36 to / via Victoria
205 to / via Euston, St Pancras, King's Cross and Liverpool Street
Circle line to Victoria, Charing Cross and the City (from the front of the station)
Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus, Charing Cross and Waterloo (from below the station - entrances near front)
Hammersmith and City and Circle via King's Cross - access from the bridge in the middle of your arrival platform
District Line to Earl's Court (from the front of the station, with the Circle line)
Crossrail services are due to start in 2019 2020 2021?.
Taxi - from the area (taxi rank) above platform 12 - escalators and lifts up
On Foot - it's not a long walk to Hyde Park, Marble Arch, Edgware Road, Little Venice ...

Will I get a seat? Can I reserve a seat on the train?
You can reserve seats - at no extra charge - on the main line trains between Chippenham/Swindon and that should ensure you get a seat. Sometimes, for operational reasons different types of trains or diffferent length trains are used, and if you have a reservation but are forced to stand you can ask for a refund. There are no reservations on the local trains into and out of Melksham, but as they were doubled in length during 2018, getting a seat should not be a problem for a couple of years.

How do I know if my train is on time?
There are many online resources available - you can see the informtion an hour or two ahead for Melksham [here] and for Paddington [here]. There is an alternative more detailed report on Real Time Trains [here] and the TransWilts App [here] lets you see how the trains are running from your phone for Wiltshire stations and other key destinations.

At Melksham station, a display board tells you about trains due in the next 100 minutes, and an information button will connect you to a customer service person if you need help or advice. At Paddinton Station (and at Swindon when you change trains) there are also display boards telling you about current running, and staff to help you too - they will also help you find your train as unlike Melksham there are lots of platforms at these stations.

Please note that the information in this document applies to journeys from MELKSHAM station. Different rules and / or options apply at other stations - especially where (for example) there is a staffed ticket office.

Whilst every effort has been made to get this page accurate, please check if in doubt with GWR.


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For 2020, we are publishing 4 fare pages for Melksham
London Fares
Local Fares
Fares to and from the Bristol area
Other fares and long distance tips
If in doubt, ask on our forum at or check with GWR who operate the trains.

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Heading towards London until June 2024
Heading towards Southampton until June 2024
Rail User Group (West Wilts)
Online Forum (Great Western Coffee Shop)

Times - between towns
Times - town bus
Bus User Group (Option 24/7)

The Melksham [Rail / Transport] User Group and its predecessors have partnered with the train operators over the years to promote growth of services and their use. However, we are embarrassed to promote the current service with its awful reliability record. For regular users who are robust to the issues it is still useful - for newcomers there's a significant risk of their first planned use going wrong, quite apart from the worry beforehand of not knowing if it will run.

Four officers of the group met in December 2022, and we have decided on a hiatus until the spring. We'll maintain insurance and CRN membership; our annual Zoom account runs until mid-year and we will occasionally feed online media and deal with correspondence from it. In the meantime, we also recommend you to the groups linked above.

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Coming SOOOON ...

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