MPs have launched a campaign to force the Government to renationalise rail services in the region after chaos in setting up a new franchise.

They say that delays in the creation of the Northern Rail franchise - covering services from Newcastle to York and beyond - have destabilised the network for passengers.

They are urged Transport Secretary Alistair Darling to bring the troubled franchise back under public control - eight years after the privatisation of British Rail.

In a parliamentary motion, the MPs say the step has already been taken in the case of South Eastern Trains and that it has been a success.

Northern Rail should be up and running on Monday, but the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has failed to reach agreement with the preferred bidder, UK Dutch consortium Serco Ned Railway.

A dispute over the level of public subsidy is believed to lie behind the delay, which the unions say has also created uncertainty among the thousands of rail workers affected.

Last month, the SRA asked incumbents Arriva Trains Northern and First North Western (FNW) to carry on for the time being, even though they lost out to Serco Ned in the bidding process.

Frank Cook, Labour MP for Stockton North, is among ten MPs who have signed the early day motion urging the Government to step in.

The motion says: "The delay, taken alongside recent reports that the number of passenger franchises will be reduced from 25 to 16 by 2011, highlights the wider problems facing rail passenger services.

"The Government should now take the necessary steps to stabilise passenger services and bring Northern Rail into the public sector, as has been done successfully on South Eastern Trains.