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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Touring train marks new franchise
A First Great Western train
First Great Western runs 190 high-speed services in southern England
Jazz bands and magicians have been performing at stations for passengers on a special service out of London to mark the start of a new rail franchise.

The high-speed First Great Western service will combine with First Great Western Link and Wessex Trains under the new Greater Western franchise.

On board the touring train, First company's chief executive Moir Lockhead unveiled a concept for a new livery.

The franchise is for seven years, with a possible three-year extension.

First Great Western has been running nearly 190 high-speed services across the south west of England, South Wales, Bristol, the Cotswolds and to Paddington.

First Great Western Link runs more than 830 local services each day from Paddington throughout the Thames Valley, Kennet Valley and the Cotswolds.

Wessex Trains operates 400 daily regional and local services across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Gloucestershire.

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