Commuters on Great Western Rail could soon see journey times cut by up to 17 minutes with new, faster trains and a brand new timetable.

GWR has released its first complete timetable restructure since the 1970s.

There are changes throughout the region, including three additional trains from Bristol to London during morning and evening rush hour and modernised services in parts of North Devon.

Here's a breakdown of how your commute might be affected.


  • Intercity ExpressTrains will take advantage of infrastructure improvements to run to a fully electric timetable between Bristol and London for the first time.

  • Additional train services will help reduce the fastest train times between London and Bristol Temple Meads by as much as 17 minutes.

  • The fastest trains between London and Bristol Parkway will now take just 68 minutes.

  • Three extra trains between London and Bristol in morning and evening peak times.

Devon and Cornwall:

  • Those travelling on GWR services between Cardiff and Taunton/Exeter via Bristol can also expect to see Castle trains, modernised High Speed Trains with four carriages and automatic closing doors, running at the busiest times of day on the route.

  • These trains will help to increase seats numbers on the line by over 1,800 every weekday.

  • Train services between Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and London will be restructured to deliver a more consistent service pattern throughout the day, offering faster journey times and more frequent services to key locations from Sunday 15 December this year.

  • Three more services a day will run between Paddington and the south west, running non-stop between Reading and Taunton.

  • GWR now expects journeys times to improve by as much as 11 minutes between Paddington and Penzance and 8 minutes between Paddington and Plymouth.

  • A two-hourly semi-fast service between Paddington and Exeter St Davids will call at Reading, Newbury, Pewsey, Westbury, Castle Cary, Taunton and Tiverton Parkway.

  • Longer, more modern trains will replace Class 143 Pacer trains on the Barnstaple line, giving a 17% increase in seats

Journey times could be shorter and trains more frequent. Credit: ITV West Country


  • The changes will mean typical journeys between Cheltenham Spa to London will be shortened by 10 minutes to 2 hours. The fastest journeys will come in at 1 hour 57 minutes.

  • The first train to Cheltenham from London will also leave earlier at 0533 compared to 0733 today, and the last departure will be at 2133, rather than 1948.

There'll be earlier and later trains on key routes. Credit: ITV West Country

This is great news for the West of England and will help people switch from cars to public transport, reducing congestion and improving the air we breathe. The new timetable will support the new rail services we have planned across the region through MetroWest and it’s great to see even more investment in both track and train.

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor

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