GWR seeks opportunities to grow


GWR IET at Broad Lane
IET on electric: No 800301 heads a Paddington to Swansea service westbound at Broad Lane on 7 June 2023.

Few operators have as diverse a patch as Great Western Railway. With operations ranging from fast inter-city services and the Thames Valley commuter belt through inter-urban and regional services to rural branch lines supported by Community Rail Partnerships, GWR provides a good study in the shift in travel patterns post-pandemic.

Managing Director Mark Hopwood points out that before Covid leisure travel accounted for more than 50% of both passenger journeys and revenue at GWR – and the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards leisure travel. Of course, comparing GWR’s passenger numbers with 2019 levels (as Office of Rail and Road statistics do) does not take into account the transfer of some Thames Valley passengers to Elizabeth Line services, on top of the general drop in commuting into the capital.

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