In Partnership For Britain’s Prosperity The West of England

Our four commitments to change and improve for The West of England

Our commitment to boost the economy


Securing £9.45bn extra economic benefit for the West of England.

Our commitment to improve for customers


Increasing customer satisfaction by creating better journeys.

Our commitment to connect communities


Boosting our communities through localised decision making and investment.

Our commitment to our people


Attracting diverse talent and providing rewarding careers.

Improvements being made in The West of England

More trains
  • 1,415 brand new carriages by December 2019 and upgrading 150 more to provide more seats, and faster, more frequent train services for customers across the network
  • Delivering around £500m of private investment to secure a brand-new fleet of trains
A better experience
  • New and more modern trains providing more space and greater comfort
  • Free WiFi and at-seat power across most services
  • £50m of station and car park investment
  • All trains to be made fully accessible by 2020
  • Rolling out free drinking water facilities across all Network Rail’s managed stations in the region, London Paddington, Reading and Bristol Temple Meads. Helping to reduce use of disposable plastic bottles
  • Improving the provision of timely and accurate information before and during journeys
  • Mobile ticketing on every service across the region
  • Delay repay on services it is not already offered
Faster and more reliable journeys
  • Reducing journey times between London Paddington and Bristol by up to 15 minutes, London Paddington to Penzance by 14 minutes, and reducing the time between Exeter and London Paddington to just two hours by early 2019
  • £2.4bn investment between 2019-2024 to operate, maintain and renew the railway
  • Upgrading and electrifying the Great Western Mainline to Bristol Parkway, Cardiff and Newbury, powering quicker and more reliable services
  • Investing £50m between 2019-2024 to improve the reliability of the infrastructure on the approach into London Paddington station
  • Introducing Senior Incident Officers and a traffic management system to improve the speed and handling of responses to railway incidents, reducing delays
More rewarding careers in rail
  • Spending more than £6m on training our people between 2014-19
  • Employing more than 7,500 people across the rail network
  • A work placement ‘Get into Railways’ scheme, developed with The Prince’s Trust, providing more than 250 apprentice places between 2014 and 2024
  • Graduate training for 30 graduates in 2014-2019
  • Attracting new talent by working with education providers such as the University of Warwick and UTC Swindon
  • Working in partnership with the Women in Rail mentoring programme to support our aspiration to get more women into rail

We are working in partnership

Cross Country
Network Rail

We are all backing the plan

Case studies

Case Study

The biggest fleet upgrade in a generation

  • The greatest investment since Brunel is already taking place in the West of England.
  • GWR is introducing the first Intercity Express Trains on the UK network.
  • New Class 800 British-built trains operate on high speed intercity routes to and from London and use electric and diesel power to reduce journey times.

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Mendip Rail Ltd delivering to the construction industry every day from Somerset

  • The company hauls crushed stone, sand and gravels from two Somerset quarries.
  • Major projects that have been supplied ‘railed’ aggregate include the Channel Tunnel, Heathrow Terminal 5, the 2012 Olympics Site, the Shard in London, Crossrail and the Battersea Power Station.
  • Mendip Rail uses 567 rail wagons delivering to the construction industry every day.

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Case Study
Case Study

“Thanks to the railway’s improved services, more tourists are taking the plunge and visiting my pool every year” Susan Stuart, Jubilee Pool

  • The railway really is the lifeblood of Penzance, supporting the tourism industry.
  • Jubliee Pool has already seen quite a big boost in tourist numbers thanks to rail improvements.
  • Sleeper services mean tourists can arrive waking up to the sunrise over Mount’s Bay and St Michael’s Mount.

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Community rail partnerships are connecting local communities to improve their railway

  • Community rail partnerships bring together local volunteers, community groups, businesses, local authorities, rail user groups and other partners to help ensure people can get the most from their railways.
  • Partnerships have helped to reinvigorate local rail travel, and deliver many social, economic and environmental benefits.
  • TransWilts community rail partnership’s work has seen service levels grow from six to nine trains per day, with a 600 per cent rise in passengers.

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Case Study
Case Study

Cocoa from West Africa to hot chocolates in Reading. Rail freights key role in growing Mortimer Chocolate Company’s business.

  • Cocoa is shipped from West Africa and loaded onto wagons to travel by train to the chocolate company’s factories.
  • The railway helps connect Mortimer Chocolate Company to customers in London. Improved services, free WiFi and on-board sockets help Adrian work on the go.
  • Mortimer Chocolate Company is one of the UK’s few chocolate producers, sourcing high quality cocoa from around the world.

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“Gaining employment has completely transformed my life.” Pete White gained a full-time role with GWR after completing ‘Get into Customer Service’ scheme

  • GWR’s and The Prince’s Trust’s scheme helps long-term unemployed people gain valuable experience.
  • Up to 100 young people to be given a chance to learn valuable skills.
  • The programme runs three times a year.

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Case Study
Case Study

1 million Cornwall cups of tea drank every year on Great Western Railway

  • Cornwall based Tregothnan Tea company supply 1 million tea bags a year to Great Western Railway
  • The rail partnership has helped Tregothnan Tea achieve 60% business growth in 2015
  • Cornwall’s overnight connection to London has helped the business to succeed

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What does the plan mean for your area?