People who care about the rail services in their towns are being invited to join a partnership which will launch next week.

The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership will meet at Bridge House in Trowbridge at 7.30pm on Friday, March 26 and is being spearheaded by Melksham businessman Graham Ellis.

The aim of the partnership is to rejuvenate the TransWilts line which runs from Swindon to Salisbury, its services and use, as well as working towards a more frequent link between stations along the line.

Currently there are only two trains a day either way which run through Trowbridge and Melksham to Westbury along the line, in the morning and again in the evening.

Mr Ellis said the community partnership will be about the public working with organisations to improve the line, make more people aware of it, look after the stations and ultimately aim for a more frequent link.

He said: “We’ll be encouraging folks like Melksham Climate Friendly, CPRE, chambers of commerce, schools and many more to join us.

“We will be talking with First Great Western and other groups including Network Rail and Wiltshire Council.

“We want to help get an hourly service, but in the meantime we want to get people on the existing trains and prepare the way for it. One of the options we will consider is having groups for individual stations, to concentrate on those stations and look after them.

“On the administration side of things we will be setting up sponsors and friends to get a degree of funding.”

Mr Ellis, who is president of Melksham Chamber of Commerce, said the public meeting next week is about seeking initial ideas and that he wants to listen as well as put forward suggestions.

He said: “The more people that know about the line the more that will use it, and this could lead to more carriages and in turn could lead to more services.

“The other interesting thing south of Westbury is that there are significant journey requirements from Frome and other stations onwards to Yeovil and even Weymouth up to Chippenham and Swindon.

“This line is already covered by the Heart of Wessex Partnership, with whom we already enjoy a very good relationship and with whom we’ll be working closely.