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  • Modernising the Great Western route

  • We're modernising the Great Western route to create faster, more reliable services, better stations and increased freight capacity.

    This is the biggest investment in the Great Western railway since Brunel built it more than 150 years ago. Modernising the route will improve the experience of everyone who uses it and stimulate economic growth in the south west and beyond.

  • Project focus

  •  Reading station redevelopment: Computer generated image of the proposed station

    Reading redevelopment

    Our new station in Reading opened a year ahead of schedule in July 2014, while in 2015 we’ve completed a rail flyover nearby and improved track layouts. This has unlocked a major bottleneck on the intercity line, reducing delays and increasing passenger and freight capacity.

    More about the Reading redevelopment
    Paddington roof restoration: CGI of station platform and trains showing the light seeping through glass panels on the roof

    Paddington improvements

    We’ve restored the Edwardian barrel roof above platforms 9 to 12 in this Grade 1 listed station. By 2016, we plan to have refurbished the roof above platforms 1 to 8 and greatly improved the station’s facilities.

    More about Paddington improvements
    Laying ballast

    South Wales resignalling

    As part of Wales’ largest ever rail improvement scheme, we’ve built a state-of-the art operations centre in Cardiff and a new signalling system between Cardiff and the Rhymney valley. Our resignalling work in the wider valleys area is due to be completed in 2017.

    More about the resignalling project
    Artists impression of electric train

    Great Western electrification

    We’re electrifying one of Britain's oldest and busiest railways providing greener, more reliable journeys and improving connections across southern England and South Wales: London and Bristol, including Cardiff, Newbury and Oxford.

    More about the benefits of electrification
  • Local work updates

    Use the links below to find out about modernisation work on the Great Western line in your area.

    Bath and North East Somerset Oxfordshire
    City of Bristol Reading
    Maidenhead and Windsor South Gloucestershire
    Monmouthshire West Berkshire
    Newport Wiltshire and Swindon
    City of Oxford  
  • The Great Western CGI animation
    Benefits of Great Western
  • Helpline

    Our helpline is open 24 hours a day year round to answer your questions:

    03457 11 41 41

    For TypeTalk, dial 18001 before the number.

    Or contact us by email

  • Find out more

    Download our publication on our vision for rail in the south west of Britain.

  • Future plans for the Great Western

    Read our network specification and route study for the Great Western