First Great Western welcomed the Government’s announcement to invest £4.5 billion in the next generation of intercity trains, which will benefit passengers travelling on the Great Western route.
First Great Western Managing Director, Mark Hopwood said: “This latest Government announcement is an essential piece of the jigsaw in improving passenger journeys across our network.
“Alongside the further electrification announced last week, these trains will give passengers a faster and more comfortable journey experience when travelling on the Great Western Main Line between London and destinations such as Oxford, Newbury, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea.
“The new trains being built under the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) will replace many of our iconic High Speed Trains that revolutionised rail travel in the 1970s with their 125mph top speed. I’m convinced IEP will deliver another revolution in passenger travel with the prospect of quicker journeys from 2017.
“The High Speed Train has run on the Great Western network for more than 35 years serving the route and its passengers. They remain popular today and will continue to serve our customers over the next few years.”
This announcement signifies financial close for the Great Western elements of IEP and builds on last week’s rail investment announcement of further electrification on the Great Western Main Line between London Paddington and Swansea. Together, the new trains and electrified routes will offer potential journey time savings of 15 minutes from London to Swansea and 21 minutes from London to Bristol.