Our Western route stretches from London Paddington to Penzance, through Bristol and up to the boundaries with Wales, Worcester and Basingstoke

The route incorporates the core stations at either end of the Great Western Mainline – London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, which we own and manage.

We’ve recently renovated both of these Grade I listed stations, replacing roof glass and ironwork and improving facilities.

The main challenge for the Western route is to provide enough capacity on the railway at peak times for growing numbers of passengers to and from London, as well as Reading, Oxford, Bristol and Exeter. Demand for freight is also expected to grow.

On this page you can find out about some of the projects providing solutions as part of the national Railway Upgrade Plan.

Map showing western route
Mike Gallop route director, Western

Mike Gallop
Route director, Western

Main railway lines:


We work closely with local communities to promote safety by the railway. Find out more on our community safety page.

Projects in Western

Western news

Western route resources

Network Specification 2018 – Western
5 MB
Route Specification 2018 – Western
7 MB
West of Exeter Route Resilience Study – Presentation
1 MB
West of Exeter Route Resilience Study
2 MB
Western Route Study
7 MB
Railway Upgrade Plan Update 2017 – Western
7 MB