THE lilac blur of First Great Western trains will soon be a thing of the past after the company adopted a new name to accompany the green trains due to roll into action in 2017.

Yesterday First Great Western rebranded itself as the Great Western Railway, promising to deliver newer trains, quicker journey times and refurbished stations.

Alongside the ongoing £7.5 billion investment in improvements to the rail network, customers will be able to enjoy new or more modern trains, all with free WiFi, on every area of the network by December 2018.

Mark Hopwood, managing director of the Great Western Railway, said: “Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the father of the Great Western Railway, was a huge believer in progress and change. It’s a time of great change for the railways in the west, which are about to see arguably the greatest level of investment since the time of Brunel.

“This makes it the perfect time to make our own change. A new name and logo won't change anything on their own, but thinking and doing things differently will. That's why we'll be using our new identity whilst we deliver a programme of massive transformation throughout the whole network. It means that customers across Swindon and Wiltshire will be able to benefit from new trains, more frequent timetables and investment in stations. “

A massive fleet upgrade will see new or modernised trains coming to the region from 2017 onwards, slashing the average age of the company’s train fleet by more than half and also creating three million additional seats across the network. The new Super Express Trains, which are made up of ten carriages, will have 15 per cent more standard class seats on peak services than those on the route today.

There will also be a major change to timetables to allow for quicker journeys along with more services from London to Cheltenham, via Swindon, with hourly intercity services replacing almost all the local services.

An additional local service will be provided between Swindon and Gloucester in the morning peak and from Gloucester to Swindon in the evening peak.

Mark said: “The on-board experience for our customers will also be upgraded, supported by extra members of customer-facing staff on long-distance services. Dedicated customer hosts will offer a more personalised at-seat service and our new trains will all be equipped with free WiFi. We’re also investing £50 million to improve stations across the network.

“The next few years are hugely exciting for us, with planned improvements set to provide a range of benefits to customers, businesses and local communities in Swindon and Wiltshire over the course of the next five years. A strong railway is vital for a strong region and I know that these changes will deliver a return to a more evocative and enjoyable rail experience, with you, the customer at the centre of everything we do.

“The Great Western Railway has always been synonymous with innovation and inspiration; we want to put in place a transformation that will do this legacy proud.”