Privacy Policy


First Greater Western Limited ("First Great Western") is committed to preserving the privacy of all visitors to and to protecting any personal information that you may provide to us. In particular, we believe it is important for you to know how we treat information about you that we may receive from this website ("Site") and how we carry out data processing practices through the use of the Internet and any other electronic communications networks. Please read the following privacy policy to understand how we use and protect the information that you provide to us or how we may use and protect it in the future.

By registering for any services on this Site or by providing any information to us, you consent to the collection, use and transfer of your information under the terms of this policy.

Please note:

From 1 April 2006 the personal data previously held by the former Trains Operating Companies – First Great Western and  First Great Western Link associated with: 

  • Season Tickets (please note this data will be used for season ticket administration and communication purposes only)
  • FORWARD customer recognition programme
  • E newsletter, email and SMS train running bulletin subscriptions
  • Outstanding telesales, lost property and customer service matters

Will be transferred to the new franchise, First Greater Western Limited. For further information please write to: 
The Data Protection Officer 
First Greater Western Limited 
MH 22 Milford House 
1 Milford Street 

Information that we collect from you

In general, you can visit this Site without telling us who you are or revealing any information about yourself. Our web server collects the IP address. uses pixels, or transparent GIF files, to help manage online advertising. These GIF files are provided by our ad management partner, DoubleClick. These files enable DoubleClick to recognize a unique cookie on your Web browser, which in turn enables us to learn which advertisements bring users to our website. The cookie was placed by us, or by another advertiser who works with DoubleClick.

With both cookies and Spotlight technology, the information that we collect and share is anonymous and not personally identifiable. It does not contain your name, address, telephone number, or email address.
In addition, there are parts of this Site where personal information may need to be collected from you for a specific purpose, such as to provide you with certain information you request, or where requested to register you to, for example, our email or SMS text bulletin service, or to enable you to use our online ticket purchasing service. This is done through the use of online forms and every time you email us or provide us with your details in other ways (i.e. over the telephone, by fax, by mail etc.).

The information collected from you may include but is not limited to:

  • your name, address, landline or mobile telephone numbers, fax number and e-mail address;
  • company name and contact details;
  • your date of birth;
  • credit or debit card information;
  • booking reference details; and
  • details of the ways in which you are happy to receive information from us and/or selected third parties;
  • information collected to use the on-line ticket booking service such as details of your departure point and destination.

First Great Western may :

  • Offer contests and other promotional activities that may require online registration. Persons wishing to participate in those activities will be asked to provide certain personal information. Some of the information requested for this purpose is optional, but other information, such as email address, is mandatory because it will be needed to notify and identify winners;
    require the selection of a user ID and password for the use of some of its services or activities;
  • offer you the opportunity to receive email updates and announcements concerning our services and special promotions. Personal information you have provided to us may be used to facilitate those communications;
  • collect information about you from e-mails, letters, telephone calls, customer satisfaction forms or from any other communications you send to or have with us; and
  • collect additional information automatically about your visit to our Site.

First Great Western encourages visitors to its Site to contact us with questions and comments. Email addresses and other information in relation to persons doing so may also be collected in order to facilitate our responses to those inquiries.

You will find that it is not compulsory to provide us with any additional information we request which is not necessary or reasonable in order to provide you with the services you have requested. Furthermore, please note that our policy is not to ask for sensitive personal data - that is, data relating to: race or ethnic origin; political opinion; religious or other similar beliefs; trade union membership; physical or mental health; sexual orientation; criminal records. We recommend that you do not provide such information to us. If you choose to do so for any reason, this will mean that you have given (and we accept) your explicit consent for us to use that information for the reasons described in this policy, or as explained at the time you provide the information.

Use of information collected

IP address information that we collect is not used to personally identify you and instead is aggregated to measure the number of visits, average time spent on the site, pages viewed, etc. We use this information to measure the use of our Site and to improve its content. 
When other personal information, such as your name and e-mail address, is collected from you with your consent (for example, through the use of on-line forms or via e-mail etc.) we generally let you know at the time of collection how we will use that personal information. We may also use the personal information you provide or which we collect via this Site for the purposes of:
  • providing any goods or services that you have requested from us (including registering for our Journeycheck Alerts service or subscribing to receive information);
  • billing you and contacting you where necessary concerning your orders (such as for ticket booking services);
  • responding to your inquiries or to process your requests in relation to your information;
  • providing and personalising our services generally;
  • administering records of our subscription services;
  • carrying out market research campaigns;
  • maintaining information as a reference tool or general resource;
  • making the Site easier for you to use and providing you with access to all parts of the Site; and
  • helping you to quickly find services and information on the Site;
  • where necessary, crime prevention and prosecution of offenders; and
  • responding to specific requests, observations or complaints relating to any First Great Western service.

Except with your permission or as provided herein, First Great Western will not sell, trade or rent personal information about you to unaffiliated third parties.

We may also use and disclose information in aggregate (so that no individuals are identified) for marketing and strategic development purposes or use and analyse the information we collect so that we can administer, support, improve and develop our business. 
In particular, we may use your information to contact you for your views on our services and to notify you occasionally about important changes or developments to the Site or our services. Further we might also use your information to contact you by post, telephone, fax, SMS or by e-mail (where you have consented to us doing so) to let you know about other products and services:
  • which we offer and which may be of interest to you;
  • which are offered by other companies within First Greater Western Limited; or
  • which are offered jointly with or on behalf of other organisations.

If you change your mind about being contacted in the future, please let us know. 
By using the Site you consent to us using your personal information for the purposes described above.

Use of cookies

Our website uses cookies. By using our website you accept that we will place cookies on your computer.

What are Cookies?

Cookies are small amounts of information which we may store on your computer to enable our server to collect certain information from your web browser. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, just the computer used. Cookies and other similar technology make it easier for you to log on to and use the Site during future visits. It also allows us to monitor website traffic, to identify you when you visit this Site, to personalise the content of the Site for you and to enable you to both carry out transactions and have access to information about your account. Cookies themselves only record which areas of the site have been visited by the computer in question, and for how long. Allowing us to create a cookie does not give us access to the rest of your computer and we will not use cookies to track your online activity once you leave our site. Cookies are read only by the server that placed them, and are unable to execute any code or virus.

The table below explains the cookies we use and why

Cookie Name Purpose

ShareThis cookies_stid and _uset

Many of our pages include a ShareThis button, which allows you to share our content via email, Twitter, Facebook etc. These cookies enable that service to work smoothly:

_stid is a random unique identifier and is used to associated users with topics of interest, based upon the content they consume and share.

_uset is used to indicate when a user has been cookied so that the task is not repeated in the next 8 hours.

Google Analytics cookies: _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz

These cookies allow us to count page visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site, using a service provided by Google Analytics. For more information about Google's privacy policy, please use this link:


This is an anonymous, unique identifier used to track how successful our advertising is. The cookie allows the devices IP address to be sent to a website, but it doesn’t store the IP address or any other personal data. This is a third party cookie.


The purpose of this cookie is to identify the visitor and the session to allow us to track usage of our websites so we can improve them. Data contained in the cookie includes a visitor ID which is anonymous, the time of start and end of the visit. This is a first party cookie.


This cookie is used to identify how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help improve the site. The data is collected in an anonymous form.

How to control and delete cookies

If you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by First Great Western, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The “Help” function within your browser should tell you how.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your computer as well as more general information about cookies.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of the First Great Western website.


The information you provide to us will be held on our server in the United Kingdom and may be accessed by or given to our staff and to third parties including our group companies and business partners (such as our web agency, database management company and, government bodies and law enforcement agencies, successors in title to our business and suppliers we engage to process data on our behalf, who act for us for the purposes set out in this policy or for other purposes approved by you. Those parties process information, fulfil and deliver orders, process credit card payments and provide support and other services on our behalf. We may also:

  • disclose personal information you have provided through our Site to persons or companies that we retain to carry out promotions and other activities for which you have registered or in which you have otherwise asked to participate;
  • pass aggregate information on the usage of our Site (e.g. we might disclose the median ages of visitors to our Site, or the numbers of visitors to our Site that come from different geographic areas) to third parties but this will not include information that can be used to identify you personally;
  • allow carefully selected third parties, including other companies in our group, to contact you occasionally about products and services which may be of interest to you (where you have consented to us doing so). They may contact you by post, telephone or fax, as well as by e-mail. If you change your mind about being contacted by these companies in the future, please let us or them know.

Finally, if our business enters into a joint venture with or is sold to or merged with another business entity, your information may be disclosed to our new business partners or owners.

Countries outside the European Economic Area do not always have strong data protection laws. However, we will always take steps to ensure that your information is used by third parties in accordance with this policy.

Unless required to do so by law, we will not otherwise share, sell or distribute any of the information you provide to us without your consent.

Users aged 16 and under

If you are aged 16 or under, please get your parent or guardian's permission before you provide any personal information to us. Users without this consent are not allowed to provide us with personal information.

Other websites

Our Site may contain links to other websites which are outside our control and are not covered by this Privacy Policy. If you access other websites using the links provided, the operators of these websites may collect information from you which will be used by them in accordance with their privacy policy, which may differ from ours.

Data retention, security of information collected, internet based transfers and disclaimer

We will retain your information for a reasonable period or as long as the law requires. In accordance with the UK's Data Protection Act 1998, we employ strict physical, electronic, and administrative security measures to protect your information from access by unauthorised persons and against unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage both on-line and off-line.

Given that the Internet is a global environment, using the Internet to collect and process personal information necessarily involves the transmission of data on an international basis. Therefore by browsing this Site and communicating electronically with us, you acknowledge and agree to our processing of personal information in this way.

Whereas First Great Western employs reasonable measures to protect against viruses and other harmful components, the nature of the internet is such that it is impossible to ensure that your access to the Site will be uninterrupted or error-free, or that this Site, its servers or emails which may be sent by us are free of viruses or other harmful components.

The contents of this Site are designed to comply with the general obligations of the European Directives on Data Protection and E-Privacy. We cannot be responsible for non-compliance with any local advertising or other laws in relation to this Site or its contents. 
Accessing and updating

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are entitled to see the personal information we hold about you and you may ask us to make any necessary changes to ensure that it is accurate and kept up to date . If you wish to correct or update the personal information that you have provided to us of if you choose to opt out of any communications that you may have initially agreed to receive, please contact us by e-mail on using the contact details provided at theContact Us. We are entitled by law to charge a small administrative fee to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you and we may require proof of your identity before we supply the information to you.

Contacting us

If you have any comments, queries or requests relating to our use of your personal information or any questions about this privacy policy, please contact us [using the details provided on the Contact Us] page. We welcome your questions and any suggestions you may have about our privacy policy.

Changes to this Policy

 First Great Western reserves the right to revise or supplement this Privacy Policy from time to time. You should bookmark and periodically review this page to ensure that you are familiar with the most current version of this Privacy Policy and so you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances we disclose it.

Copyright © 2007 First Greater Western Limited. All rights reserved.