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Great Western Railway Overview

Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England
5001 to 10000 employees
Unknown / Non-Applicable
Great Western Trains, which does business as Great Western Railway (GWR), bears passengers from London's Paddington Station to the West of England and Wales. Places served include Cardiff, Bristol, and the Cotswolds. GWR's trains generally run ... Read more

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Great Western Railway – Why Work For Us?


Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the Great Western Railway back in the 1830s – and train travel remains as important today.

Changing from FGW to GWR in September 2015, FirstGroup started the process of ‘un-branding’ the business by changing the company name from First Great Western to Great Western Railway. 

This is more than a rebadging exercise. It’s a complete shift in our ethos as a train operator. It means we no longer behave as a franchisee, but as a custodian – responsible for reinvigorating the west by returning the railway to its former glory.

FirstGroup began operating the West’s railways in April 2006. The region brings together the former First Great Western, First Great Western Link and Wessex Trains businesses.

We know your railway truly belongs to the region it serves and is more important than any holding company. We’re proud to have the chance to bring back Brunel’s original ideals and take them forward into the 21st Century. 

undefinedOur values set the expectations for how we all act and perform every single day. They make our strategy real on a day-to-day basis and promote the behaviours you and our customers can expect from every single person at every level in our family.

Through consistent ways of working and embracing our values in everything we do, we can deliver the Great Western Promise to our customers and turn our big company into a great company.

Our values:

  • Committed to customers - We keep our customers at the heart of everything we do

  • Dedicated to safety - Always front of mind, safety is our way of life

  • Supportive of each other - We trust each other to deliver and work to help one another succeed

  • Accountable for performance - Every decision matters, we do the right thing to achieve our goals

  • Go the extra mile to ensure the best customer experience - We want to be the best, continually seeking a better way to do things.

If you share our values, you’ll fit right in and help us to achieve even more great things.


All of our 6,000 people are Great Westerners, helping us to provide fast and frequent commuter services for the M4 corridor, the Thames Valley and Newbury and Oxford. In the South West, we also run eight branch line services for local commuter and leisure services, as well as the mainline to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance.

A £multi-billion investment in the Great Western mainline is seeing the biggest transformation since the days of Brunel. From route resignalling and electrification to Crossrail and station developments, we’re creating a faster rail network for the future and providing an even better experience for 1.5 million customers every week. So, you can look forward to an exciting period of change, as you help us to make history and drive a wide range of improvements from station refurbishments to the introduction of a new generation of high-speed trains.

Mark Hopwood – Managing Director

Mark joined us in 2008, becoming Managing Director later in the year. 

He has worked closely with our senior management team to successfully improve performance across the network. 

Mark sits on the Board of the Institute of Railway Operators and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics. 

Matthew Golton – Commercial Development Director & Deputy Managing Director

Matthew joined us in 2007, after a spell as Bid Director for FirstGroup's Rail Division.

His team are responsible for securing the agreements with the DfT, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and others that enable us to enhance services and routes, increase capacity, build new stations and improve facilities such as car parks and transport interchanges.

Matthew also lead negotiations with the DfT on our last two franchise agreements.

Richard Rowland – Customer Service & Transformation Director

Richard joined us in 2015, having held various roles in FirstGroup since 2005. 

He leads our project team and is responsible for planning the timetable 

Richard also plays an important role in our partnership with Network Rail; making sure our customers' journeys are disrupted as little as possible when works on the line take place. 

Ben Caswell – Finance Director

Ben joined us in 2003 from Dell Computers.

He is responsible for finance, IT, station properties, procurement and legal affairs.

Ben has been a member of the board of Great Western since joining the company and plays a key role in our relationship with the Department for Transport.

Rob Mullen – Operations Director

As Operations Director at GWR Rob oversees 1500 colleagues across Drivers, Performance, Train Service Delivery and Operational Standards. 

Before he was appointed to the post in July 2016 Rob had been with GWR for 5 years as Regional Driver Manager Central and then General Manager Central. He previously worked for c2c Rail , DeltaRail and Scott Wilson Railways.

Joe Graham – Business Assurance Director

Joe joined us in 2011 from the BBC, bringing with him over 20 years of business management and compliance experience.

He is responsible for our compliance, security, business planning, sustainability, corporate responsibility and environmental matters.

Joe also manages our relationship with the DfT and ORR as well taking the lead on Corporate Responsibility including Environmental matters.

Phil Delaney – Sales & Marketing Director

Phil joined us in 2017 as Sales & Marketing Director; having previously worked in the airline industry and for a leading Third Party Rail Retailer.

Phil is responsible for delivering the sales and marketing strategy in order to achieve commercial goals and to put the customer at the heart of our business.

Phil leads a multi-disciplined team to drive revenue, promote GWR services and to develop products and services that customers want and need.

Great Western Railway Reviews

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Great Western Railway Managing Director Mark Hopwood
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27 Ratings
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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Great Western Railway full-time


    Supportive and very willing to listen


    Odd hours, gets very busy at times

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up, great to work with

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Great Western Railway Photos

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Great Western Railway Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview

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    Customer Service Host Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Stourbridge, England
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    Average Interview


    The process took 8+ weeks. I interviewed at Great Western Railway (Stourbridge, England).


    It took 4 weeks , telephone interview, easy group assesment in Swindon and in 24 hours email invinting for interview in Paddington . Standard interview , examples about customer service, team , deal with a difficult customer etc

    Interview Questions

    • An example of when you had conflict at work   3 Answers
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Great Western Railway Awards & Accolades

  • Rail Business of the Year, Rail Business Awards, 2014
  • Investors in People Gold, Investors in People, 2014
  • Excellence in Employee Relations, Personnel Today, 2014
  • Business in the Community - Bronze Status, Business in the Community (BiTC), 2012
  • Best In House Recruitment Team, Recruiter Awards, 2016
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