Home > Travel > Holiday Essentials > Train > First Great Western

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Community Level 2Kasaf

Kasaf

First Great Western wins the race! Review with images

AdvantagesGreat on-board facilities, very comfortable, friendly staff

DisadvantagesOccasional Delays

"...inconvenience. Having said that, the first time a machine I was using was low on change, I did not realise as the warning for it is fairly small. This led to me trying to put my note in but it rejecting it instantly making me think something was wrong with my money. === Online === If you want to avoid the hassle of buying your ticket in person, you can opt for buying your ticket online - The way I usually choose to buy mine. This can be done via ..." Read review
30.11.2010

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Worst Great Western? I don't think so.

AdvantagesClean trains and facilities, helpful staff

DisadvantagesThe seats are so comfortable you are in danger of sleeping past your stop.

"...to buy a ticket. The first is in person at any uk train station where there is a ticket office. The second way to buy a ticket is on the internet. Either on the FGW site or any other site such as National Rail or The Trainline. The last way is to buy directly from the conductor on the service that you are travelling on at the time. There are many problems with buying tickets over the internet. They include the tickets not reaching you in time. For ..." Read review
12.08.2007

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 2evesham198...

evesham1988la

FGW is First

AdvantagesFast & Efficient, Plenty of Seats, Buffet's Good, Children's Activities

DisadvantagesMaybe a tad expensive - though deals can be found (but not on my route!)

"First Great Western (FGW) run services to South Wales (Cardiff, Swansea, Carnaefon), the West Country and right down to Penzance - all of which run through Reading and terminate at London Paddington. They also run a service though the pictuesque Cotswolds through Oxford and then on to Worcester and Hereford. This is my local line - so my experiences relate to my travels through the Cotswolds. I must stress that this op is not about First Great ..." Read review
23.08.2005

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Going West

AdvantagesPunctual and clean.

DisadvantagesNo trolley service; difficult to buy tickets in advance.

"...have travelled several times with First Great Western from Portsmouth to Bristol; punctuality has been a strong point, but there is room for improvement in other ways. I found it easy to look up times of trains and prices of tickets on the website, and it soon became obvious that buying two single tickets in advance was usually cheaper than buying a return. Prices seem to vary according to how busy a particular train is and to how far in advance ..." Read review
06.06.2009

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Good-if-you're-First-Class Great Western

AdvantagesNice design

DisadvantagesLate, completely packed

"...run their service. I started getting First Great Western trains from Reading a couple of months ago. I generally get the rush hour trains in and back, but I do also have experience of using their trains during off-peak hours as I used to travel a lot on them at the weekends last year. Generally I am travelling between Reading and London Paddington, but I have also taken trains to other stops around the area such as Oxford. ~~An average day on ..." Read review
08.03.2008

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 7lazza123

lazza123

Brunel would be happy with this!

AdvantagesStress Free, straight into London, no hassle

Disadvantagespotentially could be delays?

"...it really distracting. ** Journey ** The first announcement that the whole train was no-smoking. I donít smoke, but was surprised, I always thought people could smoke by the doors. There was one slight hold up, just outside Castle Cary, probably only for a couple of minutes. It got a bit lumpy and bumpy in places (I guess that was Railtrack Ė or whatever they call themselves now!) Unfortunately it was while I was coming back from the buffet ..." Read review
06.10.2003

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 2queenmaebh

queenmaebh

First (or Last) Great Western - It depends!

AdvantagesGorgeous Scenery/Wildlife, Beautiful Convenient Journey Breaks,!st Class

DisadvantagesOld Trains, Possibly Overcrowded,Unreliability not confined to this carrier

"...the train snaking towards the first of the tunnels through the ancient Devonian rock of the red Devon cliffs. Hurtling through a tunnel with the window open was an exciting new experience for the children. The walls flashed by, near enough it seemed, to touch. Better than watching them through the tame safety of a modern plate-glass train window. Rocketing through the dark, the sound racketing off the walls, we talked of the men who had built them. ..." Read review
13.07.2007

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Standing room only

AdvantagesTrains are frequent

DisadvantagesTrains often late, cancelled or otherwise disrupted, ridiculously busy

"...were exceptionally bad. Iíll give First Great Western the benefit of the doubt for the various delays and disruptions that occurred last week. After all, they canít be held responsible when signal boxes end up under several feet of water. But whatís their excuse the rest of the time? I frequently travel on First Great Western services and find them delayed or disrupted more than any other train provider Iíve travelled with. My main gripe though ..." Read review
19.02.2014

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 5Critchyboy

Critchyboy

From Cornwall to the Capital.

AdvantagesRegular Service and Cheap Advance Prices.

DisadvantagesExpensive if you just turn up

"...night. And itís all thanks to First Great WesternÖ ***THE COMPANY*** Great Western Trains Company was the first High Speed Train operator to be privatized way back on the 4th of February 1996, when the old British Rail was carved up with the sensitivities of a tired, overworked and underpaid surgeon and sold off to the highest bidder. Now owned by FirstGroup plc, in a deal in March 1998, the Great Western Railway is in the hands of a company ..." Read review
13.05.2003

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Last Great Western

AdvantagesIt gets you there

Disadvantagesmay be delays, pricey, sullen staff

"*Update: Since writing this the first time I have had the displeasure to travel twice weekly with FGW and my estimations have gone down: old trains, slow trains, late trains (especially on a Sunday!) sullen and miserable staff members, overcrowding, prices have gone up etc. They also have the WORST train delays out of all the UK train companies...25% of their trains are late, what a disgrace.* About the Company: FGW is a train company that operates ..." Read review
15.04.2004

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Whoops, I've Done it again

AdvantagesDon't have the hassle of traffic

DisadvantagesCold, expensive and other people

"...and two carriages, one in First Class, one in Standard Class are allocated mobile free zones. SUE ..." Read review
22.11.2001

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 5carolinesite

carolinesite

Hell on the Tracks

AdvantagesFor those that do not want to drive long journeys or for those that cannot drive.

DisadvantagesDelays, breakdowns, accidents and of course overpriced food and drink

"3 years ago I visited my online love in Edingburgh. The journey home was a nightmare and I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. I was travelling on a Great Western train that was heading for London, but I was to change trains at York for a train directly to Oxford. The train pulled out on time from Edinburgh station and I sat waving goodbye to Ian. It was sad, we had got on so well. Like we had known each other for years. I promised ..." Read review
22.02.2001

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 1michaeljk

michaeljk

Good value 'advance' fares but sloppy service!

AdvantagesGood value advance fares, assigned seating, good service in first class

DisadvantagesCustomer complaints ignored, misleading online booking process

"...ticket. I returned home and called First Great Western, explaining my dilemma. My call went to an offshore call centre and the worker suggested I go to another station to collect the ticket. Without transport of my own (hence booking a train ticket) and with so much to do before setting off to catch my train, I didn't have the means or the time to get to anywhere other than Winnersh. The worker didn't know what else to say, so she gave me another ..." Read review
30.07.2010

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 3sappleyard

sappleyard

Put your feet up, just not on the seats.

Advantagesno driving anyone around the bend

Disadvantagessmall delay

"...I decided to travel with First Great Western on a day trip to Cardiff, simple because of convience. We didn't want the hassle of driving ( because of raising fuel costs and we wanted to have a good pub lunch wiv beers, well I did) My partner check out the times of departures, arrival and prices on the net and found nagivating their web-site easy. Sitting next to her while she found these details was far easier then her navigating from car positions. ..." Read review
07.07.2008

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 1brummie_dave

brummie_dave

Just another train company

AdvantagesGenerally reliable, some good deals, quicker than car

DisadvantagesSome delays and problems, pricey at peak times

"...economy airline for that matter). First Class is better than average, if you're willing to pay extra, with a good range of free snacks and drinks, but not free meals. So the general gist is, FGW is fine. They've got some nice trains, some good destinations, reliability is less of a problem than the horror stories suggest, and it is possible to get some cheap tickets. It's never going to be the Orient Express, but nor is it the train to hell that ..." Read review
28.12.2006

Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful

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