1832 - work started on the broad gauge railway;

31 August 1835 - Great Western Railway was created by an Act of Parliament;

1833 - Isambard Kingdom Brunel appointed engineer, aged 27;

1838 - first stretch of line opened from Paddington, London to Taplow near Maidenhead;

1841 - full line to Bristol Temple Meads opened on the completion of Box Tunnel;

Parliament wanted to standardise gauge size; May 1892 - final stretch of broad gauge was converted to standard gauge;

1923 - when grouping of many railway companies occurred the GWR alone preserved its identity and continued to run as one of the 'Big Four'. The new GWR amalgameated Barry Railway, Cambrian Railways, Cardiff Railway, Rhymney Railway, Taff Vale Railway and Alexandra (Newport and South Wales) Docks and Railway.

1948 - GWR was nationalised and became part of British Railways (Western Region).