Leaders from across the North of England are set to consider recommendations from Transport for the North (TfN) which could position the region as a ‘pathfinder for reform’ in shaping what will become the new model for Great British Railways.

TfN has been working closely with Network Rail on collaborative proposals to change how rail infrastructure and services are delivered in Britain, despite major issues with the recommendations of the Integrated Rail Plan.

This would give TfN a strong strategic role alongside empowered city regions with integrated local networks, aligned transport and rail investment plans and a profit and loss account for the North to give clear visibility on where money is being spent.

Now it is helping drive and accelerate a programme of investment to tackle rail congestion in Manchester at the heart of the North’s rail network; and it has also played a key part in engineering a re-think on East Coast Main Line services so it can ensure east-west services across the region are protected.

This comes after the government was criticised for scaling-back its rail investment in the North and Midlands.

Martin Tugwell, chief executive of TfN, said: “The North has had to learn the hard way the consequences of not having track and train properly aligned, but through our Railmap approach to linking infrastructure and services we are already joining things up in the North.

It is expected that, with the support of Sir Peter Hendy, the chair of Network Rail, TfN members will be asked to endorse further collaboration with the Great British Railways Transition Team.

This move could see TfN work more closely than ever with the rail industry as it works to ensure regional and local representation is a strong part of the new model for the railway.

Members will also be recommended to call for the headquarters for Great British Railways to be located in the North, the birthplace of the railway.