In 2004 the railway was purchased by local investors from the area of Saskatchewan it serves. It is now locally owned and operated. Great Western Railway continues to serve many producer loading sites along their entire rail network, but also provide railcar storage for Class I railways and railcar companies.
GWR operates on 308 miles (496 km) of former Canadian Pacific Railway's Shaunavon, Vanguard, Altawan and Notukeu Subdivisions. GWR also services 60 miles (97 km) on the Fife Lake Railway, which is partially owned by the company, and another 72 miles (116 km) of the Red Coat Road & Rail on a yearly contractual basis.
A trio of GWRS M420s idling outside of the Shaunavon shops.
Great Western Railway had humble beginnings hauling hopper cars of grain for small producer loading sites, but as Great Western Railway gradually gained trackage rights over Red Coat Road & Rail and Fife Lake Railway, the railway required more motive power to provide sufficient customer service for their new customers. Up until 2011, Great Western Railway utilized an all MLW M420 roster; however with the increased maintenance cost of operating Montreal Locomotive Works locomotives, Great Western Railway decided to purchase their first General Electric units. In March 2011 it was announced Great Western Railway would receive two former Burlington Northern Santa Fe GE B40-8Ws for the original Great Western route. The shorter branch lines that are owned by Red Coat Road & Rail and Fife Lake Railway will continue to utilize three M420s, while GWRS will sell off two of their MLW locomotives.