Great North Rail Project

Our plan to stimulate economic growth in the north of England through better connections between towns and cities

By 2022 the Great North Rail Project (GNRP), part of Britain's Railway Upgrade Plan, will have delivered more than £1bn of improvements for customers across the north of England.

GNRP is a vast programme of improvements to transform train travel for customers in the North.

It will enable hundreds more trains to run each day: more trains with more seats, running more quickly and more reliably. Train customers are the immediate beneficiaries of improved transport links (or connectivity) between towns and cities in the North.

As new opportunities, including jobs, are created and businesses get access to a greater pool of talent, local communities and the wider regional economy will feel the knock-on benefits of GNRP. This will boost growth regionally and nationally.

The benefits

Connecting the north and beyond

Train customers, local communities, businesses, the economy as a whole – all stand to benefit from improved connections and shortened journey times between key towns and cities.

Journey time improvements

Faster, more frequent, more reliable passenger services, on larger trains with more seats, will give customers quicker, more comfortable journeys.


Larger, more spacious trains, running more frequently, will make the great centres of the North more easily accessible for customers. And you’ll be far more likely to get a seat.


Customers will have peace of mind, thanks to more frequent trains running on a more reliable railway. They’ll know, rather than hope, that they’ll arrive on time.

Environmental / customer experience

Electrifying the railway will allow quieter, cleaner and greener trains. A smoother ride for customers – and for the natural environment. 


North West electrification

Electrifying key routes across the north west to speed up journeys, create rail links and improve stations

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West Yorkshire signalling upgrade

Upgrading the signalling between Pudsey, Bradford, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield and Shepley for more reliable journeys

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Transpennine Route Upgrade

We’re upgrading the railway between Manchester Victoria to Leeds and Selby / York

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Ordsall chord

Connecting Manchester’s Victoria, Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations

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Liverpool City Region upgrade

Investing in a better railway to boost connectivity and improve capacity within the Liverpool city region and beyond

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Manchester Victoria improvements

We’ve transformed Manchester Victoria station into a modern and exciting gateway to the city

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Calder Valley upgrade

Paving the way for faster journeys between Manchester Victoria and Bradford interchange

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