This company formed in 1833 and in 1835 got the Act of Parliament that they needed to execute their plans. The GWR linked London predominantly with Penzance and South Wales, but also up into the Midlands as well. It is a vast and sprawling beast that was both feared and revered. The coming of the railways sealed the fate of the slow canals and thus their way of life, but enabled prosperity for Britain like never before. They even had to change the clocks and our whole concept of being on time! The iconic engineer in chief was, of course, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.