East Coast Main Line

New competition announced to find first HQ of Great British Railways

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced that a competition will be run to identify the headquarters for Great British Railways (GBR), the single, accountable public body responsible for running Britain’s railways from 2023.

As part of major reforms designed to ensure decisions about the railway are brought closer to the passengers and communities they serve, GBR will require a new national headquarters alongside regional headquarters.

The government will soon launch a competition by welcoming expressions of interest with a commitment that the national headquarters will be based outside of London, ensuring skilled jobs, investment and economic benefits are focused beyond the capital.

The competition will recognise towns and cities with a rich railway history that are strongly linked to the network, ensuring the first headquarters will take pride of place at the heart of a new era for Britain’s railways.

The Transport Secretary also announced the creation of the GBR Transition Team under the leadership of Andrew Haines, who will continue to work as CEO of Network Rail.

The Transition Team will now be responsible for driving forward reforms and creating the railway’s new guiding mind.

They will initially focus on driving revenue recovery efforts post-Covid, bringing a whole industry approach to tackling cost and promoting efficiency, as well as establishing a strategic freight unit to boost the sector.

The Transport Secretary has also set out the core goals that will define GBR, including:

  • Changing the culture of the railways and not simply creating a bigger version of Network Rail.
  • Thinking like customers, both passengers and freight, and putting them first.
  • Growing the network and getting more people travelling.
  • Making the railways easier to use.
  • Simplifying the sector to do things quicker, driving down costs and being more accountable.
  • Having a can-do, not a can’t do culture.
  • Harnessing the best of the private sector.
  • Playing a critical role in the national shift to net zero.

GBR was commissioned in May 2021 as part of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, which focuses on delivering sweeping reforms that create a truly passenger-focused railway.

RTM OCT/NOV 22 Edition


Barmouth viaduct restoration insights from project leaders

Step right up and enjoy the premium content available in the newly released October/November edition of Rail Technology Magazine, packed with key industry insights from project leaders, innovations within the sector and environmental sustainability knowledge. We invite you to indulge in the magazine and hear from the likes of Chris Pearce, Value management Director for Network Rail, Lord Tony Berkeley and Gareth Yates, Project Manager at Network Rail for Capital Delivery. This just a tantalising taste of the great stories that we have to offer, so dig in and enjoy the informative fun. 


View all videos
TransCityRail Banner


Mids \ 09 02 23
South \ 28 09 23
North \ 09 11 23

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.


The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all