Calls for a new model railway made by team of rail industry professionals

A team of rail industry professionals have called for a major re-think on how Britain’s railways are managed, and it said the changes should start here, with the creation of ‘Lancashire and Yorkshire Railways’.

Under the proposals, put forward by the Rail Reform Group, the new operator should be introduced to cover the “metropolitan belt” from the Mersey to the Humber.

Northern Rail train

Northern Rail train

A key element of the group’s report, a response to the Government’s Rail review chaired by Keith Williams, calls for Northern and TransPennine operations to be merged.

Infrastructure management with train operations would also be combined.

The group is chaired by Prof Paul Salveson MBE, who originated the concept of “community rail”.

He said: “We need a ‘new model’ of modern enterprise which is dynamic, socially responsible and inclusive, customer-focussed and there for the long-term.”

And rail expert Nicola Forsdike added: “The north of England is an ideal location in which to develop new and better ways of delivering rail services, serving a population greater than that of London. Historically, the rail network in the North has been starved of investment and passengers have had to endure poor quality services. However, it doesn’t have to be like this.”