Great Western Railway

Great Western Railway

Great Western Railway operates one of the largest networks, centred on London’s Paddington station with services fanning out to Bristol, Cardiff and South Wales, South West England, Oxford, the Cotswolds and many local and long-distance services in between.

The main services – all operated by 125mph high speed trains – run every 30 minutes from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads via Reading, Swindon, Chippenham and Bath, every 30 minutes from London Paddington to Cardiff Central, calling at Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway and Newport (each hour the train continues to Swansea) and every hour to Plymouth via Reading, Taunton and Exeter (with many services continuing to Penzance). You can check train fares and train times on, as well as booking train tickets.

Facilities onboard high speed Great Western Railway services

The facilities listed below are generally found onboard Great Western Railway services from London to Bristol, Cardiff / Swansea, Plymouth / Penzance and some services to Gloucester / Cheltenham and Oxford / Worcester / Hereford. Local services – including Devon and Cornwall branch lines, Thames Valley, Bristol and Cotswolds areas – will not generally have these facilities and may be Standard Class only.

Quiet zone

All Great Western Railway high speed trains include two quiet carriages – one in First Class (coach G) and the other in Standard Class (coach A). Adelante trains feature one quiet carriage in coach A, at the end of the train – with no through traffic, you can guarantee a more relaxing journey. Mobile phones and personal stereos are not permitted to be used in quiet carriages, and noise is asked to be kept to a minimum.


All high speed trains include at least a buffet or Express Cafe serving sandwiches, cakes and hot and cold drinks. Some trains also include a Travelling Chef serving freshly prepared meals and snacks at your seat, and two departures from Penzance to Paddington and back serve the classic Pullman Dining lunch and dinner menus, with locally sourced ingredients and an extensive drinks menu.

Entertainment carriage

The Entertainment Carriage (Coach D in Standard Class on High Speed Trains) has at-seat TV, showing comedy, kids, sports, factual and news programmes. All you need to do is send a text to start the Volo TV service; you’ll need headphones of course, which you can purchase from the buffet car if you don’t have your own.

Family carriage

Coach D in Standard Class is designated as the family carriage on Saturdays and Sundays, and during school holidays.

First Class benefits

First Class passengers can enjoy sitting in roomy, leather upholstered seats, ideal for leisure or for working. Tables and powers sockets are provided at every seat, along with complimentary newspaper and refreshments. First Class lounges are available at London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads and Cardiff Central; facilities can be enjoyed by all passengers holding a valid First Class ticket.

* Savings not available on all routes. Savings only available on Advance fares.

† Fares sourced from Prices based on cheapest available one way Standard Class Advance ticket, excluding booking fees. Prices are based on payment with a debit card and ticket collection from the station. Saving calculated against cheapest fare available on the day.