There are times that it's not ideal or not practical to tarvel on an FGW train, and times where, frankly, it's too expensive and there are other alternatives. I'm very much in favour of an integrated public transport network
Quite apart from driving ... have you considered.
The Long distance coach
Other operator's trains from Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol and Bath via Salisbury into London's Waterloo station? They may not be as frequent or as fast, but they're good, comfortable, good value and if you want to be near Waterloo anyway ...
Other operator's trains from Banbury and Bicester into London's Marylebone.
Cross Country trains that head "up North". There are some bargains to be had from Devon and Cornwall up to Bristol, Cheltenham and Gloucester.
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