Great Western Railway’s brand new Intercity Express Train came into service last week, marking the next stage in the biggest fleet upgrade on the Great Western in 40 years.

GWR new trains

Providing more seats, more frequent trains, and faster, more comfortable journeys the Hitachi built Class 800 Intercity Express Train came into service this morning with trains 800005 and 800006 forming the 10-carriage service operating the 0600 from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington.

The new trains have up to 24% more seating capacity than the High Speed Train they replace; increased legroom and luggage space, and more tables. A new timetable will be introduced once Network Rail’s electrification programme has been completed in early 2019, adding 40% more seats than today and providing quicker, more frequent journeys.

The new Class 800, 10-carriage train has been built in Britain by Hitachi. Two further five carriage trains (800008 and 800009) ran as a second ten carriage service, the 0700 from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads. This Intercity Express Train also went on to form the 1145 from London Paddington to Swansea - the first IET to South Wales.

The trains will benefit from Network Rail’s route modernisation programme with electrification already delivered to Maidenhead; congestion-busting upgrades to the railway such as a dive under at Acton to take freight traffic off the mainline; improved stations with longer platforms and transformation of signalling, and track to help improve journeys for passengers.