The Great Western Railway was one of the most important railway companies in Britain during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was the first railway to connect London and the West of England and Wales, and it changed the way people travelled and worked throughout the country. Here are ten fascinating facts about the Great Western Railway. From it’s construction to its legacy, these facts will give you a fascinating insight into the history of this iconic railway.
1. GWR was first introduced to connect Bristol to London.
Great Western railway was first introduced because people thought it was about time that Bristol was connected to London.
Some businessmen grouped together and started working on a plan!Embed from Getty Images
2. Isambard Kingdom Brunel engineered Great Western Railway.
The group of businessmen turned to a very well known engineer, who you have probably heard about!
He was one of Britain’s greatest engineers and was called Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Brunel constructed the Thames Tunnel and also engineered the Clifton Suspension Bridge!Embed from Getty Images
3. The go-ahead was given in 1835.
It was in 1835 when the go-ahead was given and Bristol would finally be connected to London.
The story of the Great Western Railway began!Embed from Getty Images
4. The first GWR trains ran in 1838.
Trains have been around for a long time.
In fact, the first GWR trains started running in 1838 and are still running today!
The public opening of Paddington to Maidenhead was on June 4th, 1838.
5. The Queen has taken part in Great Western Railway grand openings!
Over the years, the railway has grown from what it used to be.
There are lots of new destinations and you can travel long distances. This means more train stations!
The Queen has attended some of the grand openings.Embed from Getty Images
6. GWR has introduced electrification to some of their lines.
Electrification has been introduced by GWR.
It helps to cut down on pollution and make sure that trains are powered by renewable energy sources.
Learn more about electrification below!
7. Great Western Railway trains call at 270 stations!
That’s right! Great Western Railway calls at 270 stations.
How many can you think of?Embed from Getty Images
8. They are the main train operator in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Bristol, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
The Great Western Railway covers lots of places.
They are the main train operator in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Bristol, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
You might have even been on a GWR train yourself!
Embed from Getty Images
9. In Britain more than 100 million customers a year hop on board!
Think of all the people who get on the train.
The commuters going to work…
Families going on day trips…
…or even tourists who are exploring the country.
There are over 100 million customers every year who hop on board.
Listen to an episode here!Embed from Getty Images
10. Great Western Railway is now owned by FirstGroup.
Since 1998 a company called FirstGroup have owned Great Western Railway completely.
They also own lots of travel companies for trains and buses.Embed from Getty Images
Trackside is made possible by Great Western Railway.
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