The service was formed when First Group bid for the Great Western Franchise under trading name First Great Western Trains Limited, and the local services in the east where provided by first Great Western Link, a company operated by Go-Ahead, although by March 2004 the service was 75% owned by First Group.
In the South-West, the services now part of the Greater Western Franchise where operated by National Express, under trading name Wessex Trains, until 2006, when the franchise was re-bid. Afterwards, First Great Western continued to use the stock left over
The company's main route is a trunk London to 'The West' route, via Exeter, Bristol, and Plymouth. around this route, they operate a large host of suburban and link services to nearby locations, therefore they operate the routes around the historic Devon and Cornwall coast.