“A renaissance of rail” – Pentagram’s John Rushworth rebrands First Great Western

The new identity revives the Great Western Railway name, which was previously used in the era of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


Pentagram partner John Rushworth has created a new identity for rail franchise First Great Western, which is relaunching as Great Western Railways.

FGW’s head of marketing Phil Edgerton describes the relaunch as “a renaissance of rail”.

He adds: “We are in the middle of the biggest investment in rail in this part of the world since Brunel.”

Great Western Railway

The rebrand comes as FGW is set to invest £7.5 billion over three years into transforming its network, including increasing train frequency and cutting journey times.

The new branding – Great Western Railway – revives a name that was used by a pre-British Rail company.

The original Great Western Railway existed from 1833 until 1948, when it was nationalised and became part of British Rail.

The original company ran services that linked London to the Midlands, the South West and parts of Wales. It also employed Isambard Kingdom Brunel as its chief engineer.

Renaissance of rail

Edgerton says: “This is the perfect time for us to bring back the Great Western Railway and signal that we are thinking and doing things differently for customers.”

Rushworth’s team was briefed to create an identity that “marked the start of a renaissance of rail”, says Edgerton.

He adds that the new look aims to show that “we are a rail company again and we are proud of it”.

The new identity launches on 20 September and is set to roll out across all touchpoints, including signage, train livery and staff uniforms.

Hide Comments (4)Show Comments (4)
  • Chris Hall September 21, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Looks a bit bad-guy-corporation-esq but I like it.

  • Lavinia Culverhouse September 21, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Love it John. Great work as usual x

  • Bob Scott September 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    On the face of it, they’ve retained the simplicity of a monogram, reinvented for the 21st Century – ie not gone down the heritage trail. And it’s great to see green replace the blue and pink. But I can’t help but feel disappointed seeing the initials GWR – God’s Wonderful Railway, remember – applied to something so ugly and with ‘Hitachi’ writ large across the nose…

  • Mike Roberts September 27, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    First Great Western have a lot of nerve invoking a truly great railway – the Great Western Railway – in the rebranding of their second-rate enterprise.

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