Great Western Railway
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The railway company also ran bus services and owned ships and hotels. In 1948, the government took control of the company and Great Western Railway then was renamed the Western Region of British Railways.
The first railway line built by the Great Western Railway opened in 1838. It started in London and ended in Maidenhead which was 22.5 miles (36.2 km) west. By 1841, the area of service had been made much longer and so their trains went farther west to the towns of Reading, Swindon, Bath and Bristol. By 1852, the railway line had become 305 miles (491 km) long and went to Penzance. Penzance railway station is both the farthest south and farthest west in Great Britain.
In 1923, the GWR took over several smaller railways (most of them in Wales) and became one of the Big Four British railway companies. In 1948, Britain's railways were nationalized and the GWR became the Western Region of British Railways.