Great Western Railway



Dates

04/06/1838[Great Western Railway]
First part of Great Western Railway opened from Paddington (Old) to Maidenhead (Old) opened. Stations on this section at: Paddington, Royal Oak, Westbourne Park, Acton, Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell & Elthorne, Southall, Hayes & Harlington, West Drayton & Yiewsley, Iver, Langley, Slough, Burham, Taplow, and Maidenhead.
06/04/1839[Great Western Railway]
Cooke and Wheatstone 5 needle system electric telegraph installed between Paddington and Hanwell. This was the first commercial telegraph line (and in fact first commercial use of electricity) and the public were able to pay to send messages.
09/04/1839[Great Western Railway]
Electric telegraph completed from Hanwell to West Drayton. Later extended to Slough.
01/07/1839[Great Western Railway]
Maidenhead (Old) to Twyford opened. Stations on this section at: Maidenhead (New), and Twyford.
30/03/1840[Great Western Railway]
Twyford to Reading opened. Stations on this section at: Reading.
01/06/1840[Great Western Railway]
Reading to Steventon opened. Stations on this section at: Tilehurst, Pangborne, Goring & Streatley, Cholsey & Moulsford, Didcot, Steventon.
20/07/1840[Great Western Railway]
Steventon to Faringdon Road (now Challow) opened. Stations on this section at: Wantage Road, Challow.
31/08/1840[Great Western Railway]
Bristol (Old) to Bath opened. Stations on this section at: Bath, Oldfield Park, Saltford, Keynshaw & Somerdale, St Annes Park, and Bristol (Temple Meads).
17/12/1840[Great Western Railway]
Faringdon Road to Hay Lane (just west of Swindon) opened. Stations on this section at: Uffington, Shrivenham, Stratton Park Halt, Swindon, Hay Lane (But was this a station?).
31/05/1841[Great Western Railway]
Hay Lane to Chippenham opened. Stations on this section at: Wootton Bassett, Dauntsey, Malford Halt, Chippenham.
31/05/1841[Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Swindon to Kemble to Cirencester opened. Stations on this section at: Purton, Minety & Ashton Keynes, Oaksey Halt, Kemble and Cirencester (Town station).
30/06/1841[Great Western Railway]
Chippenham to Bath opened, Great Western Railway main line open throughout. Stations on this section at: Corsham, Box, Bathford Halt, Bathmapton.
12/06/1844[Oxford Branch GWR] ([Great Western Railway])
Didcot Junction to Oxford (Old station) opened. Stations on this section at: Appleford Halt, Culham, Radley and Oxford.
  /  /1845[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Western considers buying the Bristol and Exeter which would be threatened by their planned direct London to Exeter line.
12/05/1845[Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Kemble Junction to Gloucester (Standish Junction) opened. Stations on this section at: Chalford, St Marys Crossing Halt, Brimscombe, Brimscombe Bridge Halt, Ham Mill Crossing Halt, Bowbridge Crossing Halt, Stroud, Downfield Crossing Halt, Caches Green Halt, Ebley Crossing Halt, Stonehouse and Gloucester. Standish Junction to Gloucester was owned by the [Midland Railway].
12/05/1845Gloucester Branch ([Great Western Railway])
Kemble Junction to Gloucester opened
07/11/1845[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Westerns offer refused
  /  /1846[South Wales Railway], [Great Western Railway]
Great Western Railway to lease the South Wales Railway at 5%, if South Wales Railway completed to Fishguard.
23/10/1847[Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Broad Gauge line from Gloucester, Tramway Junction, to Cheltenham, Lansdown Junction, opened. Stations on this section at: Churchdown and Cheltenham. Gloucester to Cheltenham owned by the [Birmingham and Gloucester Railway] later owned by the [Midland Railway].
23/10/1847[Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Cheltenham, Lansdown Junction, to Cheltenham, St James Station, opened.
23/10/1847[Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Gloucester Avoiding Line (Millstream Junction to Barnwood Junction) opened.
01/11/1848[Basingstoke Branch] ([Great Western Railway])
Reading, Southcot Junction, to Basingstoke opened. Stations on section at: Mortimer, Bramley and Basingstoke.
30/04/1849[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Westerns lease expires
08/10/1849Windsor Branch ([Great Western Railway])
Slough to Windsor and the west curve at Slough opened.
  /  /1850[Great Western Railway]
Starts to acquire coking coal, for locomotive coal coke ovens, from Great Western Colliery on the Dinas Branch of the [Taff Vale Railway].
  /  /1854[Shrewsbury and Chester Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Shrewsbury and Chester Railway merged into the Great Western Railway.
16/01/1854[Great Western Railway]
Paddington New station, departure side, opened.
29/05/1854[Great Western Railway]
Paddington New station, arrival side, opened.
  /  /1860[Great Western Railway]
Buys the Cilely Colliery near Tonyrefail and the [Ely Valley Railway]. (1860s).
01/10/1861[Great Western Railway]
Third rail laid into London Paddington allowing standard gauge trains to enter the station.
13/07/1863West Midland Railway, [Great Western Railway]
West Midland Railway merged with Great Western Railway.
01/08/1863[South Wales Railway], [Great Western Railway]
South Wales Railway amalgamated with the Great Western Railway.
  /  /1867[Taff Bargoed Joint Line] ([Great Western Railway] and [Rhymney Railway])
Agreement to build line from Nelson to Dowlais for hauling iron ore from Cardiff to the Dowlais works.
01/08/1875[Monmouthshire Canal Tramway], [Great Western Railway]
The Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company gives the Great Western Railway running rights over their system.
01/01/1876[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Western leases line
01/08/1876[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Western absorbs the Bristol and Exeter
01/01/1878[East Somerset Railway]
[Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
[Great Western Railway]
The Great Western starts to run passenger trains from the Cheddar line through the [Somerset and Dorset Railway]s Wells station to Witham.
02/04/1880[Culme Valley Light Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Line sold to the Great Western.
01/08/1880[Monmouthshire Canal Tramway], [Great Western Railway]
Act passed for merging the Monmouthshire into the Great Western Railway.
09/05/1881[Morriston Branch] ([Great Western Railway])
Opened from Hafod Junction to Morriston.
  /  /1882[Moss Valley Branch] ([Great Western Railway])
Line opened from Moss to Moss Valley Junction
01/05/1885[Exe Valley Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Line opened by the Great Western. Built to standard gauge.
09/11/1885Abbotsbury Branch ([Great Western Railway])
Abbotsbury opened
  /  /1886Severn Tunnel ([Great Western Railway])
Opened
22/03/1886[Llynvi Valley Extension] ([Great Western Railway])
Abergwynfi opened
01/04/1886[Quakers Yard and Merthyr Joint Railway] ([Great Western Railway] and [Rhymney Railway])
Opened. The line connected to the [Crawshays Private Railway] and the [Vale of Neath Railway] at Merthyr.
  /  /1894[Cardiff Riverside Branch] ([Great Western Railway])
Converted for passenger use.
  /  /1897[Minehead Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Minehead Railway absorbed by the Great Western.
01/01/1899[Great Western Railway]
Takes over the [Pontypridd Caerphilly and Newport Railway] Newport to Pontypridd passenger service.
  /  /1901[Devon and Somerset Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Devon and Somerset Railway absorbed by the Great Western Railway.
02/11/1903Roath Dock Branch ([Great Western Railway], [Cardiff Railway]])
Joint line opened from Pengam Junction to Queen Alexandra Dock, Cardiff.
05/06/1905~[Great Western Railway]
Aberderfyn Halt opened
  /  /1911[Great Western Railway]
A Cwmtillery to Abertillery Milnes-Daimler bus service starts.
22/03/1915~[Great Western Railway]
Aberderfyn Halt closed
  /  /1919[Great Western Railway]
Extends Newport to Pontypridd passenger service to Merthyr.
  /  /1921[Alexandra Docks and Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Alexandra (Newport and South Wales) Docks and Railway merged with Great Western Railway.
  /  /1922#West Somerset Railway#
[Great Western Railway]
West Somerset Railway absorbed by the Great Western.
  /  /1923[Didcot Newbury and Southampton Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Junction Railway merged with the Great Western Railway.
  /  /1926[Great Western Railway]
Act passed to allow closure of the [Barry Dock and Railways] three miles of line from Phenrhos Lower Junction and Duffryn Isaf (the [Rhymney Valley Branch]). The Penrhos, Penyrhoel and Llanbradach viaducts were to be demolished.
  /  /1928[Great Western Railway]
Swansea North Dock closed.
  /  /1930[Great Western Railway]
Connection made between [Barry Dock and Railways] (a north facing junction, just north of Tonteg Junction) to the [Llantrissant and Taff Vale Junction Railway] at a south facing junction just to the east of Tonteg viaduct. The former [Llantrissant and Taff Vale Junction Railway] line between the junction just east on Tonteg viaduct and Llantrissant Branch Junction is closed.
  /  /1934Railway Air Services
[London Midland and Scottish Railway]
[London and North Eastern Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
[Southern Railway]
Imperial Airways
Railway Air Services formed by the LMS, LNER, GWR, SR and Imperial Airways. Airport opened at Renfrew
01/10/1934[Somerset and Dorset Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
The Great Western makes use of the Somerset and Dorset Railways Wells station (Priory Road)
23/10/1947[Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Gloucester T Line (Tramway Jnct - T Station) opened.
  /  /1951[Quakers Yard and Merthyr Joint Railway] ([Great Western Railway] and [Rhymney Railway])
Branch over the river to Merthyr Vale Colliery closed.
12/02/1951[Quakers Yard and Merthyr Joint Railway] ([Great Western Railway] and [Rhymney Railway])
Closed to passengers.
01/12/1952Abbotsbury Branch ([Great Western Railway])
Abbotsbury closed
13/06/1960[Llynvi Valley Extension] ([Great Western Railway])
Abergwynfi closed
07/10/1963#Tiverton and North Devon Railway#
[Exe Valley Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Dulverton to Tiverton (excluded) to Thorverton (excluded) closed.
16/03/1964[Cardiff Riverside Branch] ([Great Western Railway])
Closed excluding Currans Siding.
15/06/1964[Taff Bargoed Joint Line] ([Great Western Railway] and [Rhymney Railway])
Closed to passengers.
  /  /1965[Taff Bargoed Joint Line] ([Great Western Railway] and [Rhymney Railway])
Connected to Ocean and Taff Merthyr Collieries on closure of the [Taff Vale Extension].
30/11/1966[Exe Valley Railway] ([Great Western Railway])
Thorverton to Stoke Canon closed.
08/07/1968[Cardiff Riverside Branch] ([Great Western Railway])
Curran's Siding closed.
19/09/1997[Great Western Railway]
7 people killed at Southall when a First Great Western express trains strikes a freight train.
05/10/1999[Great Western Railway]
31 people killed at Ladbroke Grove when a local train over-runs a signal and crashes into a First Great Western express train.