MPs from across North Yorkshire MP have called on the Government to local Great British Rail HQ in York to create a new “Global Rail Supercluster” in the city-region.

York Central MP, Rachael Maskell, said that by locating GB Rail HQ in York Britain can “ignite a new transport revolution” from the city.

With over 150 years of railway history, York recently submitted a bid to the Department of Transport to become the home of the new Great British Railways Headquarters. The Government are expected to publish a shortlist of bidders in May.

Already home to leading university research institutes, the largest rail operating centre in the UK, over 100 rail companies, and over 9,500 skilled workers, York and North Yorkshire is the largest rail cluster outside London.  Already pioneers in digital, signalling, railway operations and automation, the arrival of GBR HQ  in the city would turn this ecosystem into a globally significant supercluster.

In addition to the benefits to the industry itself, basing the new headquarters in the city would also provide a significant levelling up opportunity for York, Yorkshire and the North with the proposed site for the HQ being within an hour of one in 10 of the UKs most deprived communities. A recent poll by Focal Data of 1000 Yorkshire and the Humber residents reported that 7 in 10 agree that ‘locating the Great British Railways headquarters in York would help other areas around Yorkshire to ‘level up’’. Locating GBR in York will be a catalyst to level up Yorkshire and the North.


Leading the Future of Rail debate in Westminster on Tuesday, Rachael Maskell MP said:

“As we prepare for rail’s Bicentenary, against the backdrop of a different set of challenges, the excellence of British engineering can once again capture the imagination of what can be achieved and ignite a new transport revolution. York Made the Railways and the Railways made York.  York is where this revolution will occur.

“The UK could once again take pride of place as marketing the very best in rail planning, operations and engineering globally. If we are looking for a reason for Global Britain, the operational and engineering expertise grown in our rail cluster in York, mixing the intermodal intersections with the next generation of energy, could be globally marketable and transformative.

“Consolidating York’s rail cluster will level up our city addressing the low wage economy and will accelerate inward investment for York, region and nation.  We believe that this can only be achieved if Great British Railways is anchored in York, with investment in the sector’s research and development powering this.

“Great British Railways Headquarters will be no add on in York and North Yorkshire. It will anchor Britain’s rail future, it will ignite Britain’s rail ambition and it will, like no other place can, deliver the next chapter of our Great British Railways revolution. This is the pride of my rail city and this is our offer to the future of rail.”


A full recording of the debate, held on 26th April 2022, can be found here

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