The home of Great British Railways must be based in the North, transport bosses and politicians have said today.

Transport for the North (TfN) has today (August 3) launched a campaign to support to four Northern locations shortlisted to become the new home for Great British Railways (GBR) new national headquarters.

Four of the six shortlisted potential locations are in the North, including Newcastle, York, Crewe, and Doncaster.

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Martin Tugwell, CEO of TfN, said: “The new Great British Railways’ headquarters can be anywhere, as long as it’s here in the North. TfN will be making the case for it to be based here in the heart of the country over the coming weeks. 

“Our country’s national railway is over 200 years old, but few people know that our rail network was born here in the North of England with the very first railways and stations. By basing GBR here it will be a homecoming. 

“It will also make the most strategic sense for the country as many rail businesses and supply chains are here in the North, and the region straddles two of the main rail arteries in the UK in the East Coast Mainline and West Coast Mainline and will be the location for the biggest rail investment over the next three decades in Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2. 

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“The North is also at the forefront of the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda, and therefore the investment and high skilled jobs it would bring to the region would be a key signal on the start of delivering on this aspiration.” 

Last month Durham, Darlington and Stockton all missed out on the shortlist to become home to Great British Railways, after being among 42 towns and cities which applied.

The Northern Echo: Darlington missed out on the shortlist. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTDarlington missed out on the shortlist. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “This would be a symbolic homecoming and a fantastic opportunity to create new jobs. The North East was once the home of the locomotive – it should be again.  

“Rather than leaving the north behind we should be putting it first by basing the railways here, and Newcastle offers a perfect location for GBR linked to heritage sites and the facilities to support a 21st century headquarters.” 

The decision as to where GBR’s headquarters will be based is being made through a public vote, which is open until August 15.

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North Yorkshire County Council leader Cllr Carl Les said: “The benefits of the Integrated Rail Plan will be felt right across the North of England and to have the new home of Great British Railways in the region will help to achieve the government’s Levelling Up ambitions.

 “York has an extensive rail heritage and the right skills and people to make GBR a success. York Central, the largest city centre brownfield site in England, presents a unique opportunity to create Britain’s biggest rail cluster and inspire the next generation of northern-based rail professionals.” 

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