​English Regional Partnerships

A better railway is one that better responds to the needs of our rail customers and their communities.

GBRTT has been working with mayoral combined authorities in Greater Manchester, in the West Midlands as well as Liverpool City Region and the newly formed North East combined authority to give local leaders more say over the railway in their region.

This has involved close collaboration with the Department for Transport (DfT), Network Rail (NR), Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and other stakeholders to understand the priorities of communities and how rail can support their ambitions. This fresh approach moves away from a narrow focus on contracts towards ‘place-based partnerships’ that explore the bigger picture.

The GBRTT partnerships team are guiding these place-based partnerships which will ‘think local’ and network-wide about how the railway should be run – so customers can see and feel the benefits. Every partner brings their own expertise to look at matters such as how rail can improve economic growth in towns and cities or how we can rethink ticketing to make it simpler to hop between bus and train.

Each partnership is unique; covering a different set of postcodes and people. In some areas such as the East Midlands, a collaboration agreement is already in place between Transport for East Midlands and the Department for Transport. GBRTT are working with these authorities to understand what a successor agreement would look like in light of a commitment to a partnership commitment with the newly formed East Midlands Mayoral County Combined Authority.

Other regions such as York & North Yorkshire have a partnership commitment as part of their devolution deal. These will be set up once Great British Railways gets a green light and until then we’re getting to know what matters to rail customers and local communities in these areas.

National Partnerships


Transport for Wales (TfW) is building a multimodal public transport system within Wales: one network, one timetable, one ticket regardless of whether passengers use the train, bus or tram. Great British Railways (GBR) will be building a consistent and integrated rail-only network across Great Britain.

GBR’s role in Wales is to integrate both of these propositions, making the railway simpler and better for passengers and freight users and delivering on the Welsh Government’s transport policy within Wales itself.

The current rail industry model for Wales is the most complex of all British nations, but our railway partners manage this by joining up teams at the working and strategic level through local railway units and the Cyfuno transport partnership. Because GBRTT have been involved in this extensive reform activity already underway, we are a trusted partner of the Welsh Government, the DfT, Transport for Wales and Network Rail in articulating the future shape of the rail industry in Wales and the English borders.


Scotland is a devolved nation, with Scottish government providing the funding framework and the specification of passenger train services.

We are focused on developing and aligning a proposal that will meet Transport Scotland’s objectives to deliver a safe, punctual railway with improved capacity whilst delivering environmental benefits by cutting carbon emissions. We are also mindful that we need to improve efficiency and deliver value for money for the taxpayer.