Wessex Trains was a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by National Express that operated the Wessex Trains franchise from October 2001 until March 2006, when the franchise was merged with the Great Western and Thames Valley franchises to form the Greater Western franchise.
14 October 2001 – 31 March 2006
|Main region(s)||South West England|
|Other region(s)||South East England, South Wales|
|Stations called at||161|
|Parent company||National Express|
|Successor||First Great Western|
In October 1996, Wales & West commenced operating the South West & Wales franchise in Wales and the West Country. It also operated services to Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham International, Southampton Central, Brighton and London Waterloo.
Wessex Trains ran the majority of local trains in the South West as seen in their route map.
- Atlantic Coast Line (Par – Newquay)
- Avocet Line (Exeter – Exmouth)
- Golden Valley Line (Swindon – Gloucester)
- Heart of Wessex Line (Westbury – Weymouth)
- Looe Valley Line (Liskeard – Looe)
- Maritime Line (Truro – Falmouth)
- Riviera Line (Exeter – Paignton)
- Severn Beach Line (Bristol – Avonmouth – Severn Beach)
- St Ives Bay Line (St Erth – St Ives)
- Tamar Valley Line (Plymouth – Gunnislake)
- Tarka Line (Exeter – Barnstaple)
|143 Pacer||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||8||1985–1986|
|153 Super Sprinter||13||1987–1988|
|158 Express Sprinter||90||145||12||1989–1992|
|Mark 2 carriage||Passenger carriage||100||160||5||1969–1975|
In 2002 as part of a franchise re-organisation by the Strategic Rail Authority, it was announced that the Great Western, Thames Trains and Wessex Trains franchises would be combined to form the Greater Western franchise. This was part of a Strategic Rail Authority strategy to reduce the number of train operating companies providing services from London terminal stations.
Originally it was planned for Wessex Trains to take over the diesel services from Exeter St Davids to London Waterloo on the West of England Main Line operated by the South West Trains as part of the South Western franchise.
- Companies House extract company no 3011029 Archived 29 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine Wales & West Passenger Trains Limited
- Wessex Trains route map
- Rail Magazine Issue 458 2 April 2003 Page 49
- SRA Announces New Franchise for West Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Strategic Rail Authority Press Release 6 November 2002
- "Greater Western Franchise - Invitation to tender". Department for Transport. 2 February 2006. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012.