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FGW rebrands as Great Western Railway from Sunday – details expected today

First Great Western is set to unveil details on its transformation to Great Western Railway (GWR) later today (18 September).

The operator will be rebranded on Sunday (20 September) to the same name as the original company that built and operated the line.

It has commissioned the great, great, great grandson of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, graphic artist Isambard Thomas, to help promote the change.

The 51-year-old created a limited edition print of the line following an event at Bristol Temple Meads on 7 September.

He said: “It is a great honour to work on a project which was so close to my great, great, great grandfather’s heart. I have prints from the time which show how stations and the line used to look and I can compare them with how they look now.”

FGW media officer, Dan Panes, told RTM that more information will be revealed today, but the company can already confirm that the evolution will see the fleet livery changed.

The operator said the change of its own branding is linked to the wider modernisation and upgrade of the whole Great Western Main Line, which has electrification and the introduction of the new Class 800/801 Hitachi fleet at its heart.

The operator has already created social media accounts for the new brand, all of which feature a dark green colour set to replace the original dark blue visual identity First Great Western once maintained.

This is the same green shown in CGI images of the Hitachi AT300 fleet that has been procured to serve Devon and Cornwall. 

The GWR brand is currently used in its long-distance first-class carriages but will now be expanded to cover its whole network.

RTM previously reported on the brand evolution in May as part of a conversation with Patrick Hallgate, managing director of the Great Western Route Modernisation for Network Rail.

He had referenced FGW’s direct award and evolving brand towards GWR, but said it will be important to “earn” the word ‘Great’.


Rupert Le Bere   18/09/2015 at 13:50

Great marketing by FGW. I hope they live up to the self appointed accolade.

Keith Anderson   18/09/2015 at 22:41

What is the point of re-branding, when they still run old knackered trains on the branch lines in the Westcountry.

Lutz   19/09/2015 at 13:05

@Keith Anderson The point is, they soon wont be; there is going to be a step change in the system over the next few years and it is the right time to launch a new brand to go with the new service.

Pedr   19/09/2015 at 16:30

Keith, do not worry - there is even older stock still in Lancashire & Yorkshire purple-brown on one route in Wales....

Fare Paying Passenger   21/09/2015 at 23:30

This is all going to happen at a cost which will be recovered from the fare paying passengers and the tax payer. And how can they call themselves a railway when it (the track) belongs to network rail, not them?

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