Great Western Main Line IEP Intercity Express

New high speed trains bringing fast and efficient services on GWR routes from London to Wales and the West Country.

Train routes out from London to the western regions of the UK see a high volume of passengers, and the introduction of the GWML Intercity Express IEP services are expected to be highly popular.


From its starting point at Paddington, the GWML serves such towns and cities as Reading, Swindon, and Bristol in between routes into the West Country, along with providing trains into South Wales cities such as Cardiff and Swansea too.


Towns like Cheltenham, Swindon, and Bath are also on the Great Western IEP routes.

59 IEPs are due to be built specifically to run services on the Great Western routes, with GWR fully expecting them to be well received by travelling Customers.

The trains – named after famous West Country historical figures – are expected to bring about a number of improvements in journey times and available capacity.

When all the new trains are all in service – and electrification of the parts of tracks which are due to be electrified is complete – the Great Western fleet will deliver three million extra seats a year on its trains.

That equates to an additional 7,900 more at peak times in and out of London than there were in 2016.

The autumn of 2017 will see introduction of the new Intercity Express on routes from London to major cities including Reading, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff. ​

From Summer 2018 services will increase with the arrival of trains built to handle the West Country routes – those along the coast into Devon and Cornwall.

The full fleet will eventually number some 93 trains, consisting of 58 five-car and 35 nine-car. All should be in service by the end of 2019.

The new IEP Hitachi-made Intercity Express trains are due to be introduced on Great Western routes between Paddington and Bristol in 2017, a year before the Virgin Azuma Intercity Express sees its first scheduled runs up and down the East Coast Main Line. It’ll be 2018 before the South Wales cities of Cardiff and Swansea see their arrivals of the diesel powered Class 801s.

Latest News



Buy tickets for the new Intercity Express trains on the Great Western new IEP services.


Get details on the GWML London to Western UK Intercity Express routes.



List of stops and stations on IEP GWML Intercity routes + latest station news



It’s early days to be talking about timetables on the IEP routes. Current timetables will clearly change depending on frequency and carriage confirmation of the new trains. Nearer the time of service introduction you’ll find detailed info on the IEP timetables page.

Journey Times


The Trains

GWRs fleet has seen some changes since the original order, and has ended up being comprised of two differently powered trains:

The Class 800 diesel-electric hybrid designed to run on electrified sections of tracks between London and Bristol, with diesel power taking over for journeys into Wales.
The Class 802 – Essentially a bi-mode version very similar to the 800 but with some enhancements that will help it negotiate some problem sections of track in Devon and Cornwall, most notably those sections where previous trains have been damaged by salt water and affected by weather-driven delays.

The fleet comprises of a mixture of electric and diesel powered trains, with overhead power provided to them in electrified sections and diesel power taking over where electrification hasn’t been implemented.

For Wales routes this means diesel power eventually from Cardiff out further west, although electrification up to Cardiff itself from the east won’t be completed for some time. Still, journey times between Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol and London will be about 15 minutes faster than they are were before.


The video to left below from GWR takes you into the driving seat of one of the new Intercity Express trains – an early first hand experience of an IEP journey. The video to the right is the main promotional one used by GWR to illustrate the Intercity Express service.



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